There have been two great posts from Coffee and Conservation recently, detailing Julie Craves’ year of consumption.
I buy a lot of really high-quality coffee. The average price per pound (not including shipping) this year was $22. The big outlier was a half-pound of Finca La Valentina Geisha from PT’s Coffee, which retailed at the equivalent of almost $120/lb. Including that coffee, I indulged in 23 bags of coffee that retailed for over $20/lb. If I take out the five most expensive bags of coffee (over $30/lb) my cost per cup declines to $0.83, or $0.75 without shipping. Most average coffee consumers will be able to bring even this price down substantially without compromising sustainability, or taste.
Great coffee is incredibly cheap. We’ve been saying this for a long time, but it is nice to have it written aloud by someone buying a lot of coffee as a retail consumer.
Most interesting to me was seeing the increase in per cup cost since 2008. A mixture of increasing retail prices, perhaps coupled with an increasing preference for certain coffees:
The high elevations of my favorite coffees also stood out to me. The average elevation of these coffee was over 1600 meters! Higher elevation slows bean development, resulting in a denser bean and typically more well-developed flavors. Alas, we may be seeing more coffee grown at these high elevations in the decades to come. This doesn’t mean there will be a proliferation of coffees with characteristics like that of high-grown coffees today. Climate change will mean the temperatures required by fine arabica coffee will move upslope, but of course conditions at 1600 meters may soon be the same as 1200-1400 meters today.
Both posts are an interesting and enjoyable read, and it made me want to do more to track my own consumption in these terms: