How Hot Is Starbucks Coffee?

Last week we wrote about how you shouldn’t drink very hot coffee and mentioned the famous McDonald’s lawsuit over third degree burns from a spill. Now it appears that Starbucks may be in the same boat as McDonald’s by first trying to ignore the injury and now facing a lawsuit. The ABA Journal (Journal of the American Bar Association) reports that a Houston lawyer sues Starbucks for alleged burns from spilled coffee.

A Houston lawyer says in a lawsuit that a barista spilled hot coffee on her, causing burns to her lap and such excruciating pain that she had to remain on her hands and knees while a colleague rushed her to the hospital.

The lawyer, Katherine Mize, claims in the suit that the coffee was so hot that it was unreasonably dangerous, report Texas Lawyer (sub. req.), the SE Texas Record, Click2Houston and the Houston Press.

Mize is seeking up to $1 million in damages. Her lawyer, Brian Humphrey, told Texas Lawyer that Mize had to be treated for lost skin in her lap area. The injury “was pretty serious” and resulted in scarring, he said.

This report has echoes of the McDonald’s suit in that the company apparently ignored complaints from the plaintiff and now must deal with the issue in court. McDonald’s made their franchises serve coffee at 180-190 degrees which can cause third degree burns of the skin within 7 seconds. How hot is Starbucks coffee? That will probably come out in court. It turns out that coffee does not need to be 180 degrees to cause a 3rd degree burn.

Hot Liquids and Burns

The Burn Foundation discusses hot liquid burns.

Coffee, tea, soup and hot tap water can be hot enough to cause serious burn injury.

Scald and steam burns are often associated with microwave oven use.

When tap water reaches 140º F, it can cause a third degree (full thickness) burn in just five seconds.

Hot Water Causes Third Degree Burns…

  • in 1 second at 156º
  • in 2 seconds at 149º
  • in 5 seconds at 140º
  • in 15 seconds at 133º.

How hot is Starbucks coffee? If the lady actually suffered 3rd degree burns the coffee was probably at least 140 degrees and more likely 150 or above.

And this brings us back to drinking hot liquids in general. As the WHO declared, drinking very hot beverages is associated with a higher incidence of esophageal cancer.

“Very hot” beverages “probably” cause cancer. This is mostly based on studies related to the consumption of a traditional drink called mate or cimarrón in South America where the tea can be taken at temperatures around 158 degrees Fahrenheit (or 70 degrees Celsius). That’s significantly hotter than people in North America or Europe usually consume their drinks.

Whether your concern is getting burned by spilled coffee or increasing your risk of esophageal cancer it is best to let your coffee cool into the sub 130 degree range before drinking.  And make sure the lid is on tight before you handle that takeout coffee!

Don’t Drink Very Hot Coffee

Coffee has lots of health benefits but don’t drink very hot coffee. According to the Chicago Tribune the World Health Organization just jumped on the coffee band wagon.  They confirm that coffee does not cause cancer and has positive effects on liver and uterine cancers. Of course we know that coffee reduces your risk of type II diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and many more diseases. The one warning from WHO is that very hot beverages are associated with a higher incidence of esophageal cancer. It’s not what you drink but how hot it is served that increases the risk of cancer of the esophagus.

In reviewing the most recent scientific evidence over the past 25 years since its last analysis on the matter, the WHO concluded that coffee should no longer be considered a carcinogen and that it may actually have positive effects for your body when it comes to two types of cancers – liver and uterine cancers.

There was another significant finding: “Very hot” beverages “probably” cause cancer. This is mostly based on studies related to the consumption of a traditional drink called mate or cimarrón in South America where the tea can be taken at temperatures around 158 degrees Fahrenheit (or 70 degrees Celsius). That’s significantly hotter than people in North America or Europe usually consume their drinks.

So, if you are used to drinking your boiling hot coffee before it cools think again.

Very Hot McDonald’s Coffee

In 1994 there was a famous lawsuit against McDonald’s brought by a 79-year-old woman who suffered 3rd degree burns when coffee she had just purchased at a McDonald’s drive through. She asked McDonald’s to pay her $20,000 which was the amount for medical expenses which included hospitalization and skin grafting as well as other expenses related to the injury. McDonald’s offered $800. When the woman engaged an attorney and sued her lawyer asked for $300,000 in damages and McDonald’s offered $90,000. Settlement not reached and the case went to trial where the jury awarded the woman $160,000 for medical expenses and $2,700,000 in punitive damages. The trial judge reduced the final verdict to $640,000 and the parties settled out of court.

There were two reasons why the jury came back with a large punitive damages award. First is that McDonald’s made its franchises serve their coffee at 180-190 degrees which medical evidence shows would cause a 3rd degree burn within 7 seconds of contact with the skin. Second, McDonalds had prior knowledge of this issue and had always settled previous claims for a few hundred dollars.

Despite losing lawsuits McDonald’s still serves its coffee hot and has had a least one more burn lawsuit according to Huffington Post. A California woman ordered two cups of coffee at a McDonald’s drive through.

When the cups were handed to Fino, she alleges, one of the lids wasn’t safely secured.

The coffee spilled, causing “severe burning to her genitalia,” said her lawyer, Nicholas “Butch” Wagner, in an interview Friday. And it’s “still burning.”

“Despite over 1,000 complaints from customers about being burned by the coffee, McDonald’s still continues to brew the coffee at such an exceptionally high temperature,” Wagner said. “They are saving more in production costs in brewing coffee and serving at such high temperature than it costs them to settle the cases with these people who have been injured.”

So, don’t drink very hot coffee. If you spill it you get 3rd degree burns and there appears to be an association between beverages consumed at 170 degrees Fahrenheit or above and esophageal cancer!

How Do You Know when Coffee Is Old?

Did that last cup of coffee from the vending machine taste more than a little stale? Maybe that is because the beans the coffee came from were 9 years old! For that matter how do you know when coffee is old? The Wall Street Journal reported that coffee that is nine years old is coming out of storage and being sold.

Before you take that next sip of coffee, consider this: Some of the beans in your cup of joe might have been picked during the Bush administration.

Arabica coffee that had been stored away as markets cratered in 2013 is now pouring out of warehouses, flooding the market with beans as old as nine years.

Those beans, which are considered higher quality than the more bitter robusta type typically found in instant coffee, are coming out now because they get cheaper the longer they sit. Prices for better varieties have come down enough to tempt buyers who would usually be in the market for lesser grades.

Coffee farmers often store their coffee beans when prices are low and then sell them later. The problem is that stored beans lose their flavor and aroma. They also cost less so buyers pick up allegedly high quality coffee at a discount.

Coffee prices hit a bottom in 2013 and rebounded in 2014. Stored coffee peaked in 2014 and is tapering off. When coffee sits for 121 days before being certified by the New York futures exchange it loses half a cent per pound in value. When it sits for three years the value drops by 35 cents. And nine year old coffee sells at a $1.55 discount which essentially makes it free as basic coffee for June delivery is going for $1.35 a pound!

Who Is Buying 9 Year Old Coffee?

You will not taste any 9 year old coffee at your favorite coffee shop but the sort of institutional coffees found in vending machines, schools and motels may include really old coffee. Arabica coffee is the top of the line but many buyers consider it too expensive. Unfortunately when the buyer waits too long to purchase this coffee it has lost much of its flavor and aroma. In general green coffee beans are good for two years.

How Do You Know When Coffee Is Old?

Remember our article about coffee bloom?

The coffee bloom is the release of carbon dioxide gas when hot water is poured over ground coffee beans. Carbon dioxide gas is trapped inside coffee beans when they are roasted. Darker roasts contain more carbon dioxide and lighter roasts contain less. Roasted whole beans retain the carbon dioxide longer than roasted and ground coffee and storing in a cool environment keeps the carbon dioxide longer. The antioxidant compounds that give coffee its health benefits and flavor are trapped in the carbon dioxide as well.

A good coffee bloom means you have fresh coffee that has been stored correctly. If you want to be assured of fresh Arabica coffee, especially from Colombia contact us at Buy Organic Coffee.

What Are the Benefits of Organic Coffee?

High quality organic coffee from Colombia cost more than regular coffee. What are the benefits of organic coffee and why buy organic coffee from Colombia?

Is coffee from Colombia really some of the best in the world? If you pass through the Eldorado terminal at the international airport in Bogota, Colombia, stop by the Juan Valdez coffee shop for pan de bono and either regular or Juan Valdez organic coffee. You will be glad that you did and you will be on your way to believing that coffee from Colombia is some of the best in the world.

Colombia is the premier producer of Arabica coffee.

People buy Arabica coffee because it tastes better and has a better aroma.

Arabica has less caffeine that Robusta beans but substantially more flavor. The gourmet coffees of the world are Arabica or Arabica variants. Organic Arabica coffee is high quality coffee, the best of the best. If you like great coffee, that is why you want to buy organic Arabica coffee from Colombia.

Coffee and Nothing Else

Drink organic coffee and avoid the many impurities too often found in regular coffee. Organic coffee certification guarantees you that you are getting great coffee and not a lot of unwanted ingredients.

Organic coffee differs from regular coffee in several aspects. The soil in which organic coffee is grown must have been verified as free from prohibited substances for at least three years. In addition there must be distinct boundaries between land on which organic coffee is grown and land where pesticides, herbicides, and prohibited chemical fertilizers are used. This guarantees that drift of substances sprayed or otherwise applied on adjacent land will not contaminate the organic plot of land. Organic coffee certification includes the adherence to a specific and verifiable plan for all practices and procedures from planting to crop maintenance, to harvest, de-husking, bagging, transport, roasting, packaging, and final transport.

Health experts in Australia reported that a regular cup of coffee can have as many as 150 unwanted ingredients including herbicides, pesticides and synthetic fertilizer residues. One of the primary benefits of organic coffee is that sustainable agricultural practices keep the things you do not want out of your cup of coffee.

The Benefits of Coffee

Organic coffee is great coffee with no unwanted additives. And organic coffee has numerous health benefits.

Coffee drinkers are less likely to develop any of several types of cancer. Drink coffee regularly and you are less likely to get type II diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, or depression.

The list of health benefits of drinking coffee keeps growing. It would appear that if your drink coffee you even live longer! And if you stick with organic coffee, especially from Colombia, you get great coffee and get to skip the other ingredients.

Health authorities in Australia have found that more than 130 different impurities may be found in a cup of regular coffee. These contaminants include metals such as aluminum and zinc, pesticide residues, ochratoxin A, acrylamide, furan, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Some polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are found to cause cancer. Furans have been associated with skin disorders, liver problems, certain kinds of cancers, impairment to the reproductive, endocrine, and immune system, as well as effects on embryonic development.

What’s the downside? Drink organic coffee.

Do Coffee Beans Go Bad?

If you buy coffee beans, green or roasted, to make coffee at home you don’t want them to go bad. Do coffee beans go bad? There are two issues with bad coffee beans. One is poorly sorted beans after picking and the other is improper storage in transit or in your home.

Stinkers and Other Beans Gone Bad

There is an excellent article at TCC about defected beans. There are black beans and earthy beans, moldy beans and peasy beans. You want to avoid rioy beans, sour beans, stinker beans and whitish beans as well.

Black Beans

Black beans, where the interior of the bean is also more or less completely black depending on the severity of the attack, are beans having undergone a yeast fermentation starting at the epidermis; the surface of the bean is covered with minute holes surrounded by mineral micro crystals, left after enzymatic degradation of cellulose. The more serious the damage, the blacker is the interior of the bean.

Earthy Beans

The presence of 2-methylisoborneol, a secondary metabolite of Actinomycetes, Cyanobacteria and molds, has been associated with the earthy flavor of robusta coffee.

The levels present in robusta coffee are at least three times as high as in arabica (Vitzthum et al., 1990). These data indicate that robusta taste results, at least partially, from contamination by microorganisms rather than from specific aroma components.

Moldy Beans

A mould/yeast level above 105/g is always associated with mustiness in flavor. Geosmin, identified in a heavily rioy and musty tasting sample of Portorican coffee, is probably the substance responsible for moldiness in beans (Spadone et al., 1990).

Peasy Beans

This defect, encountered only in Central African arabica coffees, is due to a contamination of the cherry by a bacterium of the entherobacteriaceae.

Rioy Beans

These beans have a flavor described as medicinal and iodine-like. Rio-tainted beans are heavily infested with moulds (Aspergilli, Fusaria, Penicillia, Rhizopus), and bacteria (Lactobacilli, Streptococci).

Sour Beans

Sour (ardido) beans are deteriorated by excess fermentation, with a sour taste.

Stinker Beans

Stinkers are over-fermented beans, usually with normal appearance but a rotten smell and flavour.

Whitish Beans

The surface discoloration of whitish beans is due to fermentation by Streptococcus bacteria.The attack can occur if storage is too long or in conditions of excessive humidity.

All of these sorts of beans should have been sorted out on the coffee plantation, avoided by proper storage or removed when discovered along the supply chain. But do good coffee beans go bad once you have purchased them?

Old and Perhaps Moldy Coffee Beans

Mold is always an issue when foodstuffs are stored in damp areas. Coffee beans, green or roasted or ground coffee should be stored in a cool and dry place. And coffee is best when made and consume in a timely manner. Green coffee beans properly stored are good for two years. Roasted coffee beans properly stored are OK for up to six months. Ground coffee where the inside of the bean is now exposed to the air started to get stale on the spot. You best bet to avoid bad beans is to purchase from a reliable supplier and store appropriately. Roast only what you are going to use that day and grin only what you are going to use to make the next batch of coffee.

How Much Caffeine Does Colombian Coffee Have?

Colombia produces the best Arabica coffee in large quantities in the world. Arabica coffee is where gourmet coffee comes from. Flavor and aroma of this coffee are prized by coffee lovers throughout the world. Robusta coffee, on the other hand, is the workhorse for producing the caffeine found in caffeinated beverage everywhere. Because Colombia produces Arabica coffee it leads in flavor and aroma and is less likely to leave you with an unpleasant buzz from too much caffeine. So, just how much caffeine does Colombian coffee have versus coffee from Vietnam, for example, which is primarily Robusta?

Caffeine Content of Coffee Beans looks at how much caffeine is in a coffee bean. Caffeine levels in coffee can vary dramatically by the type of bean and how much it’s roasted. Even different beans taken from the same bush can have different amounts of caffeine. The way coffee is prepared will also affect how much of the bean’s caffeine winds up in your cup.

A typical Arabica bean contains 1.2 percent to 1.8 percent caffeine. Canephora, also called robusta, contains as much 50 percent more caffeine than Arabica beans, reaching as much as 2.4 percent.

With either variety a dark roast process will reduce caffeine content by ten to fifteen percent. And preparation makes a difference. A single serving Arabica espresso will have 30 to 50 milligrams of caffeine and an eight ounce cup of Arabica via the drip method can have as much as 200 milligrams of caffeine, less concentrated but more volume. Espresso or drip coffee using Robusta will give your about fifty percent more caffeine.

Coffee Chemistry reports on the caffeine in coffee as well.

In Arabica coffee, caffeine content averages at 1.2% while Robusta at 2.2%. It is believed that this larger level of caffeine allows for robusta plants to thrive in more hostile environments as caffeine acts as a chemosterilant for insects.

They also report that among sub-varieties Arabica ranges from a low for Laurina and a high for Catuai while for Robusta the Laurenti variety has about 60% of the caffeine in the Robusta sub-variety.

Great Coffee with Less Caffeine

If you like your coffee but hate the jitters, drink high quality coffee from Colombia. You will need to drink less coffee to get your coffee flavor and aroma and will get about half as much caffeine per cup than if you drink robusta which is commonly included in high end European coffee blends. And some espresso blends include Robusta because it holds the crema head better. In general if you want Arabica coffee you can be assured if you buy coffee or origin from Colombia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Tanzania or Kenya as none of these regions grow Robusta coffee. You certainly want to avoid Death Wish Coffee if lots of caffeine gives you the shakes.

So, how much caffeine does Colombian coffee have? High quality Colombian Arabica coffee contains 30-50 milligrams per single espresso serving and up to 200 milligrams in an 8 ounce cup depending on sub-variety and degree of roasting.

What Does Gourmet Coffee Mean?

Be aware that there is no international standard for gourmet coffee. Nevertheless many companies present their brand as a gourmet coffee. In general gourmet coffee is characterized by high quality beans and skillful preparation. In the world of coffee many consider Jamaican Blue Mountain, Kona from Hawaii, select organic coffees from Panama and Arabic coffee from Colombia as being of high gourmet quality. But there is more to the story.

Retaining Freshness

Ideally you want to be waiting at the bottom of the mountain for the picked, processed and dried coffee to arrive. Then you want to take it to the roaster where they will remove the remaining husk and roast to your specifications. And then you will immediately grind your gourmet coffee and brew a cup. In this way you will not lose any of the flavor, aroma and healthy antioxidants that guarantee gourmet quality. Unfortunately if you do not live in the Hawaiian Islands, Jamaica or along the road from Manizales to Cali in the Colombian Cafetero you have to rely on expedited transport of your gourmet quality coffee to retain quality. Your best bet for getting high quality coffee of absolute freshness is to buy wholesale coffee. If you are interested in this approach contact us today.

How Long Does Stored Coffee Last?

Properly stored green coffee beans retain freshness for up to two years. If you roast coffee beans and store them in a cool and dry location, ideally vacuum packed they retain freshness for up to six months. But once you grind your gourmet coffee beans you had better make the coffee because the shelf life of coffee freshness for ground coffee is measured in hours or minutes! If you really want gourmet coffee and not waste the money you spent for high quality beans buy green and roast the beans yourself immediately before making coffee. This, by the way, it the approach used for most coffee house coffee.

Getting the Most for Your Money

In our article, How Much Does Colombian Coffee Cost, we did a brief cost breakdown for the cup of coffee you buy at the coffee shop. There is a baseline cost for each step of producing, processing, storing, shipping, roasting, distributing and selling coffee no matter how high the quality or how ordinary the beans. A high quality Colombian coffee, single origin and organic may be considered fifty times as good as ordinary coffee but the price is probably just two or three times a much because the shipping and handling costs are about the same. However, if you really want your gourmet quality coffee as fast and fresh as possible, consider air freight of a small quantity (10 kg for example). Again if you need help contact us today.

High Quality

If you want gourmet coffee you need to get fresh coffee beans and not store ground coffee. But all that goes for naught if you do not buy high quality coffee to start with and have it shipped promptly to you by a reliable supplier.

How Much Does Colombian Coffee Cost?

Colombian is the premier producer of high quality Arabica coffees, especially in wholesale quantities. But how much does Colombian coffee cost? Cost depends on the current coffee market, the quality of the coffee and export costs. A half-pound bag of ground coffee such as Aguila Roja in a Colombian grocery store will sell for around $2 (6,000 Colombian Pesos). A one pound bag of Juan Valdez organic coffee as a coffee of single origin from a specific part of the Colombian Cafetero will sell for around $9 (27,000 Colombian pesos) in Colombia. Unfortunately if you want to send via UPS it may cost as much as $100 for shipping of a kilogram of Colombian coffee! However, you can buy wholesale coffee from Colombia and the price is attractive provided that you deal with a trusted supplier and exporter and deal in larger volumes.

Air Freight Coffee Colombia to the USA

If you are interested in mid-size shipments of organic green Colombian coffee air freight arranged by a supplier and exporter in Colombia can be cost efficient. The wholesale price of highest quality green organic coffee of origin in Colombia will run around $7 a pound. Air freight Bogota to Houston will run about $1.25 a pound. Ten 60 kg bags (132 pounds each = 1,320 pounds will cost around $8.25 x 1,320 pounds = $10,890. This works out to $8.25 a pound. The cost of basic green Colombian coffee is closer to $2 a pound which works out to $4,290 for ten 60 kg bags air freight Bogota to Houston.

Shipping Containers Full of Colombian Coffee

Large orders of wholesale Colombian green coffee are usually shipped by sea. Or suppliers in Colombia ship via Buenaventura on the Pacific coast or Cartagena on the Caribbean. Shipping containers are the most cost effective way to ship. A 20 foot shipping container holds 18 tons of coffee in bags and 21 tons in bulk. Shippers say that coffee in bulk arrives in better condition than coffee in bags. Special liners are used for bulk shipping of coffee. Shipping cost per pound is pennies on the dollar compared to air freight. The most coffee way to send is FOB which means that you employ a shipper to receive the shipment as it goes onto the boat and insure that it gets to you safe and sound.

Coffee Quality

The price of regular coffee futures is quoted on the NYMEX during every business day. This is the base from which all others are derived. If you want export quality Colombian coffee it will commonly cost a dollar to two more a pound than basic coffee beans. If you want organic, shade grown or coffee of a specific origin this is where the price moves from around $2 to around $7 a pound.

For Starters

We suggest that if you are interested in high quality Arabica coffee from Colombia that you try a 60 kg bag shipped by air freight. In November of 2015 Colombia changed its export laws making it easier to export smaller quantities of coffee. If you would like a quote for a 60 kg bag or a 20 foot shipping container of your favorite kind of Colombian coffee please contact us at Buy Organic Coffee.


How Do Green Coffee Beans Work?

We have written about green coffee beans, how one might lose weight with green coffee beans, how to get wholesale green coffee beans and organic green coffee extract. And later we reported on a bogus green coffee extract claim. Unroasted green coffee beans have a higher level of chlorogenic acid and that is what is believed to be the benefit of green coffee. Chlorogenic acid is believed to help reduce high blood pressure and people take it for obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s disease and bacterial infections. It is the extract of green coffee beans that people take for medicinal purposes.

For Weight Loss

There is evidence in human testing that chlorogenic acid can reduce the absorption of carbohydrates from the intestinal tract which in turn lowers blood sugar levels and the insulin spikes associated with rapid intake of sugars. In essence to the degree that this works out it is like going on a diet by fooling your body into absorbing fewer calories.

Lower Cholesterol

Chlorogenic acid dramatically reduces cholesterol and triglyceride levels but this evidence comes from studies on rats.

Weight Loss

There is evidence that taking green coffee extract can result in moderate weight loss over a short period of time. However, the study on people only lasted for three months and resulted in a six pound greater weight loss in folks taking green coffee extract versus placebo. There is no evidence that this effect lasts and no research into long term use of green coffee beans or extract for weight loss.

Effect on Diabetes

We know that coffee consumption reduces the incidence of type II diabetes. But is also seems that chlorogenic acid may also have a protective effect as well. In rat studies chlorogenic acid supplements reduce glucose absorption.

Blood Pressure

There is evidence that chlorogenic acid taken daily lowers high blood pressure. Researchers compared chlorogenic acid with placebo in patients with mild high blood pressure and found that both systolic and diastolic blood pressures decreased significantly so long as the patient continued the regime.

What Green Coffee Does Not Do

As we noted in our bogus green coffee extract claim article, manufactures cannot claim long term success in promoting this product for weight loss.

The Federal Trade Commission has levied a fine of $3.5 million on Applied Food Sciences, the company that sponsored the study claiming that green coffee extract resulted in weight loss. Here is a quote from the FTC

the study’s lead investigator repeatedly altered the weights and other key measurements of the subjects, changed the length of the trial, and misstated which subjects were taking the placebo or GCA during the trial. When the lead investigator was unable to get the study published, the FTC says that AFS hired researchers Joe Vinson and Bryan Burnham at the University of Scranton to rewrite it. Despite receiving conflicting data, Vinson, Burnham, and AFS never verified the authenticity of the information used in the study, according to the complaint.

Despite the study’s flaws, AFS used it to falsely claim that GCA caused consumers to lose 17.7 pounds, 10.5 percent of body weight, and 16 percent of body fat with or without diet and exercise, in 22 weeks, the complaint alleges.

The point of all this is that researchers in India fudged the results of their study and no one followed up. This was a bogus green coffee extract claim and should be ignored. If you purchased any green coffee extract for the purpose of losing weight you may want to ask for, or demand, your money back.

How Much Is Organic Coffee?

If you want the best coffee you want to drink organic Arabica coffee from Colombia. How much is organic coffee compared to non-organic? And how much is high quality Arabica coffee from the mountains of Colombia compared to less aromatic and flavorful types of coffee.

The Price of Basic Coffee

We were recently in a coffee farmer’s cooperative in a small town in the heart of the Colombian coffee growing district, the Eje Cafetero. On one wall was a wide screen TV showing up-to-the-minute coffee futures prices quoted from New York. This updated coffee trading price is what the coffee farmer gets for basic coffee picked, with the fruit removed and dried when delivered down the mountain. The CME/NYMEX base price of coffee futures deliverable as of this writing for July 2016 is $1.3270 a pound. Futures for later delivery are progressively higher with March 2018 at $1.4665 a pound. If you are trading coffee, by the way, contract units are 37,500 pounds and quoted in dollars. Consider this the basis on which organic coffee is priced. But how does this price compare with what you pay for a cup of coffee and why?


Green Coffee Beans

Coffee and Hidden Costs

Serious Eats published an interesting article about the hidden costs of coffee.

The price of unroasted green coffee depends on multiple complicated factors. For example, to start: Is the coffee Arabica or Robusta? Arabica is a higher-altitude-grown, lower-yielding species of the coffee plant that is considered the “gourmet” bean type. Robusta is just what the name implies: highly productive and robust even in the face of disease, drought, and infestation (largely because it’s higher in caffeine, which is a natural pesticide), but not typically as delicious or delicate as its cousin Arabica.

As a general rule, 100% Arabica coffees cost more all-around-to the farmer, the roaster, and the consumer-than Robustas. Furthermore, if the coffee is organically grown, or Fair Trade-certified, it might command additional premiums.

So, organic Colombian Arabica beans are going to sell for more than your average coffee bean, especially more than Robusta beans.

Then, there’s the quality to consider: coffee buyers usually grade every coffee on a quality scale (say, 1 to 100), and choose selections that score well (an 80 at least), paying more per pound of green beans as the score creeps higher.

So, high quality coffee beans are more expensive than low quality beans. Then there is the process of exporting, importing and getting the coffee to the roaster which adds to the cost. Roasting, packaging and delivering to retailers commonly adds around $6 a pound to the cost of the coffee.


Roasted Organic Coffee Beans

Roasted Organic Coffee Beans

A coffee house will use about 2 grams of coffee beans per 10 ounce cup. That works out to about 30 cups of coffee per pound. If the roaster paid only $3 a pound for imported green beans and added $6 a pound to roast and distribute their base cost of just the coffee would be $9 divided by 30 which equals 30 cents a cup. However, you need to factor in the total cost of running a coffee shop and the need to make a profit and then you get your $3 or more cup of coffee.


Best Brewed Coffee

Best Brewed Coffee

How Much Is Organic Coffee?

At the coffee shop organic coffee is not that much more because the only increase in cost is the coffee while every other step in the supply chain is the same. But what if you want to buy wholesale? A couple of years ago we wrote about the cost of wholesale organic coffee using prices from our roaster in Bogota.

The cost of high quality roasted whole bean organic coffee from Colombia is lowest when purchased in bulk. A recent price quote that we have from one of our suppliers is as follows: $18,861.70 for 1,980 pounds of roasted whole bean organic coffee with USDA and other organic coffee certifications.

For this quote the coffee would be roasted and put in 2.5 kilo bags (5.5 pounds). This quantity requires 360 bags:

Cost for 360 bags = $18,861.70

Cost per bag = $52.39

Cost per kilo = $20.96

Cost per pound = $9.53

Prices change but just in this example you can see that by purchasing green roasted coffee in bulk and having it sent air freight to the USA allows you to get high quality Colombian Arabica organic coffee from the price that a roaster in the USA would charge for roasted coffee or average quality. For prices on green coffee, organic green coffee, coffees of origin from Colombia please contact us at Buy Organic Coffee for a quote. Depending on quantity we can arrange air freight delivery or shipment by shipping container from either Buenaventura or Cartagena, Colombia.


Best Organic Coffee Grows in the Cafetero of Colombia

Best Organic Coffee Grows in the Cafetero of Colombia