What Constitutes Gourmet Coffee?

Many coffee lovers are willing to pay the extra price for gourmet coffee. Their expectation is that gourmet coffee will have better taste and aroma. But what constitutes gourmet coffee? And how much more do you have to pay to get a coffee that you enjoy a little bit more than your regular brand? A lot of so-called gourmet coffee is marketed by individual growers and the prices of these coffee brands is substantially higher than what one would pay for one of the top brands at a local grocery store or even bags of coffee sold at your favorite coffee shop.

What Does Gourmet Coffee Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, gourmet means the following:

of, relating to, or being high quality, expensive, or specialty food

typically requiring elaborate and expert preparation

In regard to coffee, gourmet or specialty generally means meticulous care from the harvest through all processing steps to an ideally roasted coffee. Coffee beans are selectively picked at peak ripeness and roasting is done in small batches. Coffee producers and roasters who offer gourmet products are trying to present their best efforts and typically expect to charge a premium price. To a large degree getting a gourmet quality coffee has to do with selective picking of coffee cherries at their maximum ripeness. This approach is more labor intensive and expensive than simply going out during the harvest and picking all of the cherries from a coffee plant. Also, it is more expensive, per coffee bean, to roast in small, controlled batches which also adds a bit to the cost. In addition, in order to get a price that rewards the extra work and expense a grower needs to market their product separately which adds one more cost. Nevertheless, the markup for gourmet coffee commonly goes beyond these factors.

Truly Gourmet Coffee Comes From Better Coffee Beans

Nobody, at least that we are aware of is trying to market Robusta coffee as gourmet. Robusta has more caffeine, the plants produce a greater yield, and Robusta has much greater resistance to coffee diseases like coffee leaf rust. But it has decidedly less flavor and aroma than Arabica coffee and certainly much less than a good Arabica from a region like the coffee growing axis of Colombia or Kona coffee from the Hawaiian Islands. In general, honestly promoted gourmet coffee generally comes from better coffee beans. An issue for us is that far too many “gourmet” brands are priced in the stratosphere instead of just having a markup to cover extra cost and provide a reasonable reward for the extra effort.

What Constitutes Gourmet Coffee?

How Much Does Gourmet Coffee Cost?

If you simply do a Google Search for gourmet coffee and take the top listing you will find yourself on Amazon.com with roasted whole bean coffees going for $1.70 an ounce. However, there are specialty gourmet coffees that sell for tens or even hundreds of dollars a pound. Panama Geisha, Hawaiian Kona Peaberry, and Jamaica Blue Mountain all come to mind. While these are all excellent coffees they command extremely high prices because their quantities are relatively small. Panama produces about 50,000 sacks (60 kg) every year. By comparison the Colombian Cafetero produces about 13,000,000 bags (60 kg) of uniformly high-quality Arabica coffee a year. We might argue that if Colombian coffee were as rare as some of the rarer high-quality coffees in the world it might similarly sell for hundreds of dollars a pound instead of $7.71 (29.500 COP) for a one-pound bag of whole bean roasted gourmet coffee at a local grocery store in Manizales, Colombia or $15 at an outlet in the USA.

Get Your Gourmet Coffee For a Reasonable Price From the Colombian Cafetero

The point we are getting to is that you do not need to pay extravagant prices for the highest quality gourmet coffee. Contact us at admin@buyorganiccoffee.org for help with your gourmet coffee needs at affordable prices.

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