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

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