Say It Ain’t So, Joe: Coffee Prices Hit 34-Year High

CHICAGO (CBS) — That morning cup of coffee is going to cost you more.

Coffee prices are at a 34-year high — $3 a pound.

Yet coffee drinkers plan on grinding out the extra cash because they need that cup of Joe, CBS 2’s Pamela Jones reports.

“I like the taste of it. It keeps me up,” medical student Linda Russo says.

In countries like Ethiopia, people can’t do without it.

“It’s like a tradition for me. We drink coffee every day,” coffee lover Yosef Alemayehu says.

But the cost of that cup of coffee is way up.

At Metropolis in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood, the price of a pound of coffee is up by 45 cents. And they’ve raised the cost of a cup by 10 cents across the board.

They’ve posted a notice to let customers know before they get in line.

“We went ahead and tried to post the information before it actually happened just because the price of green beans has gone up by so much this year,” assistant manager David Retzer says.

Analysts say there’s a drop in the supply of high-grade Arabica coffee beans.

Plus, there’s more demand. More people in countries like Brazil are drinking the good stuff.

It means the prices in coffee shops here have nowhere to go but up. Local customers say the price isn’t as sweet as it used to be, but they’ll pay it.

“People don’t really like paying more, but when it comes to something like coffee that’s a necessity in people’s lives, I’ve found that they are more willing than not to go ahead and pay the difference,” Retzer says.

Cassandra Quinn agrees.

“I think if it’s a relatively small amount, like 10 cents, we’ll absorb it like we did with gas prices, honestly,” she says.

  • Macky

    Seriously why would coffee be any different? Everybody is using the same excuse and turning around and charging more for the product at hand. It’s GREED and thats all.

    • Koblog

      Well. All we have to do is outlaw greed then, eh? Good luck with that.

      But why are there suddenly so many greedy people charging so much for coffee and gas and food, when just three years ago the same people weren’t so greedy?

      Seems electing Obama makes people greedy.

    • Papa Ray

      Actually it is the fact that the value of the dollar has fallen so much in the last three years. Plus weather has not cooperated in many countries.

    • lsb

      wait.. the last time prices were this high was 34 years ago? what year was that? 1877 and who was president? carter… amazing …….

    • J

      Well, actually it’s because of the devaluation of the dollar and inflation–and at the root that is stemming from greed. The US dollar is on track for all time lows. Anything imported is going to get more expensive.

      • dc23

        Don’t forget the cost of fuel to transport it.

      • lsb

        and who was president the last time coffee prices were this high? CARTER.. WOW……..WEIRD HUH..? Wait wait.. didnt we have an oil crisis when carter was president as well?????/

      • Jonjon

        but greed is easier for the weak minded to understand

      • Clark Nova

        Also due to very bad weather during the last growing season in several major exporting countries. And once the source price goes up a dime, corrupt bourgeois middlemen use that as an excuse to raise it a quarter. While the source price will return to normal next year, the middleman’s increase is always permanent.

        I get my beans green and roast them myself, insuring that I drink the finest coffees in the world for less than what the average American pays for 3rd rate Vietnamese or Brazilian Robusta swill. My coffee provider, Sweet Maria’s, buys many of their coffees direct from the growers, insuring a better price for both the farmer and the end user.

    • Bullet Gibson

      Sorry comrade….it’s called inflation or stagflation.

    • Roman Gregori

      And it’s Bush’s fault too!!!

    • Lori Theis

      Macky, you are totally right. GREED is responsible for the cost of everything. I get so tired to pundits acting as if the cost of things adjust *themselves*, as if humans have absolutely no control!

      • Hydejustice

        Humans do have control and the last time they exercised it they were all chanting “change” and ” yes we can” . Now everyone realizes almost all the politicians have leveraged our country to the hilt. And the fox is still in the chicken coop.
        If you want to know why our dollar doesn’t go as far look to the federal reserve and Ben Bernanke, he started all this under Bush and Obama has not changed a single thing. He even put old Ben back in.
        Yes it is greed, but not from the retailers or the business community, this is all political, all we need to do is flush the bowl and start over.

    • EllieEnlightened

      Hows that Obama thing working out for you?

      • lsb

        just as well as carter did apparently!!!!!!!1

    • Dave Campbell

      I love the word “greed.” What you and I do, of course, is prudent management of our resources to benefit our families. That other guy, though, is greedy.

      • Hydejustice

        Lol ” two thumbs up”

    • Dan

      It’s always been high and going higher…stagflation during the period of chaos and hyperinflation to rise up…two to 4 years. IMHO…but the net has quickened the process. So who knows which way the wind blows?

    • esoteric

      Macky, you had better take an economics course and learn how world commerce

    • MZStitch

      Macky, ignore those who chose to criticize your opinion, I find it sad when people are so anxious to criticize someone elses opinion instead of addressing thier comments to the article. I appreciate taking into consideration many diverse opinions, and would like to thank all that did post thier own opinion on the article.

  • GG

    That is a dumb comment. The fact is this. The demand has an effect on the price of coffee (and everything else – see high gas and gold). The real issue that is being ignored is that inflation is growing faster than being announced. As a result, the dollar is worth less so it takes more dollars to buy anything from outside the U.S. This means that anything purchased on the world market will cost American’s much more due to the weak dollar on the foreign exchange. There is no greed involved here. To think so is ignorant.

    • Papa Ray

      You know crats and liberals always think that greed or corruption is the answer. Rather than real facts.

      My Dad was an independent trucker back in the old days and he had to raise his prices exactly once because of gas prices. The fact that he waited until he was loosing money says something. Just like McDonalds has waited over a year to raise their prices because they didn’t want to put in on the consumers.

      Well McD’s finally has had to raise them. It is like the end of the world or discovering that Santa doesn’t exist to millions of people.

    • looking closely

      Anyone who uses “greed” to explain why prices move in any direction doesn’t “get” it. Greed is like gravity. . .its constant. We’re supposed to believe that the price of coffee (or oil, or gold) has gone up in the last six months because all of a sudden the middlemen (who were never greedy before) got greedy?

      Its REAL simple.

      Coffee is a COMMODITY, like wheat or oil or gold. Price is primarily determined by two factors: supply and demand.

      Demand is up, supply is down = higher prices. Yes, its that simple.

      On top of these two things, and again just like gold and oil, the fact that the dollar is weak most coffee is imported into the USA increases its real cost in US dollars.

    • McDade

      Call it the fed’s Qe2 result – print more paper money, you get inflation. You can’t create money out of thin air like they’re doing. Higher supply of dollars floating around, they worth less. Study history – every country that’s followed this approach has crashed their economy. And Macky, it’s just starting. As the world markets move away from trading in dollars, like the IMF is planning, we’ll really get knocked down. Another strategy of the feds is to devalue the debt via this inflation they’re causing and they also assume your wages will go up, so you’ll pay more taxes in the future anyway. The only greed involved is that of our federal government….. Study history – – you’ll learn where we’re headed.

      • reaganwasright

        Weimar Republic…..look it up, read ALL about it…. then tell me it’s all about greed, moron.

    • LTCB

      That’s bad for us somewhat but, it may actually have the unintended consequence of slowing demand by the US for foreign made products (massive changes in US spending patterns) whicn will drive down costs over time. Locally produced goods are always better for the economy of that location. Our cost of fuel is lower than yours because we have a refinery in town that supplies the local area plus some. But, other things are higher. So, folks stop buying as often or as many of whatever has higher costs than what is reasonable to them. THat slows demand and folks either drop the prices to get the customers back or they go out of business.

    • MZStitch

      There are no dumb comments

  • gatekeeper96740

    When they calculate inflation they leave out food and fuel so they can say there is no inflation.
    Welcome to the Carter years on steroids the only thing missing is the gas lines.

    • Papa Ray

      If you learned that in school, which I seriously doubt, buat knowing how liberal some schools have become, it might be possible. I suggest you use google or better yet Bing and do a little research.

    • dc23

      No, Jeff, it was Carter. Where were you then?

    • t from nj

      In 1973 there was gas lines with Nixon,ALSO Jimma Carter-I sat in those lines in 1978 also odd and even license plate days-ohh that was so great for the middle class.

    • Terry

      Shows your age….I WAS IN those Lines….And I can Tell you for certain IT WAS CARTER…..Lying Liberals…..

    • FLconservative

      It was the Carter admnistration. I remember those gas lines. After this episode witht he Arabs Carter started the Energy Dept. In 30 yrs they haven’t done anything to get us off of foreign oil. You need to brush up on your history.

    • Bullet Gibson

      You should sue your history teacher.

    • Andy

      Republicans have never been the saviors of the free market that they pretend, and Democrats never will be either. It is all political grandstanding, and they all need to get out of our markets, and get out of our lives. At least Reagan got it right when he said that government was not the solution to our problems, government is the problem.

    • Roman Gregori

      It is amazing so many of you took this idiot seriously…

    • Mark

      Your facts are half right comrade – so typical. There were 2 shortages, 1973 & 1979. It was called an OIL Embargo from our friends at OPEC.

    • Sigmonde

      Jimmah “Runnin’ on Empty” Carter….Those were the days my friends, we thought they’d never end…

    • reaganwasright

      Jeffy…..I sat in those lines too….It is not the conservatives who change history….it is your fellow progressive liberals who do. Problem is you have to know how to read to understand and study history….. another moron.

    • BHO has a Connecticut SSN?!

    • BJLewinsky

      I love that liberal revisionist history, but you’re the one who has it all wrong.

    • Brad

      Get a grip, man. I was born in 1961, got my driver’s license in Virginia in July 1977. Carter took office January 20, 1977. I sat in gas lines, and in my state these lines were on “odd” days for me b/c my license plate ended in an odd number. We had “odd/even” days in the Carter years, and for most of them. There was a brief period, I believe, in 1973 or early ’74 when we had some gas lines, but nothing like the Carter years. Be careful who you call a liar, you fool.

    • Hydejustice

      Hmm so what is the price of tea in china? Let’s talk about the real effects of the current system of calculations as it pertains to seniors. Yes we are all lying republicans! And the democrats are out to save everyone … Right?
      But I have a question, if the cost of living increases given to seniors are based on the inflation rate and we have had so many years since those ” evil” changes , well why didn’t Clinton or Obama change them? I mean they are out to help the little people or so they say, well they could have fixed this to more accurately give seniors their social security increases based on inflation.
      But the reality is Social Security is a tax, it’s a lock box filled with ” IOUs ” called treasuries, those treasuries are an amount of money taken by congress to pay off debt and spent with a promise to pay interest based on what? That’s right the interest set by the Federal Reserve! Hooray! But wait the Federal Reserve has been keeping interest rates artificially low so that means you’re not getting any return on your money in the ” social security lock box” .
      Maybe we could talk about this low interest rate policy that Obamas men support, Bernanke and Timmy Geitner, is it effecting anyone else? Yes it’s the seniors again! Let’s hear an applaud! All those fixed income seniors who are retired and depend on interest from their retirement nest eggs, so can we safely say it’s not just republicans but it’s also Democrats who are lying and saying they are looking out for people when they are really starving them to death.

    • djm159

      The current resident of the white house makes me long for the good ol’ days of Carter when inflation was 22%. At least Carter feigned caring. Obama’s words on the gasoline prices “get used to the high gas prices.” Meanwhile he and Marie Antoinette Jr. are flitting around the country using fuel like we have an unlimited supply and costing the tax payers a fortune. $1.89 a gallon when the HNIC (head narcissist in charge) took over and now it is $4.75 a gallon – 2-1/2 times the amount in 2008 and it is heading higher. This is Obama’s economy – he has been in office nearly three years and has done nothing to help anyone but himself.

  • David M

    There is greed at hand here – the greed of the Obama Administration in printing trillions of dollars. That is the cause of US inflation and the weakening of the dollar. He couldn’t tax us more, so he printed money and reduced the value of what is in our pocket. This has only just begun – it will accelerate in the second half of the year.

    • J

      Milton Friedman, the Nobel Prize winning economist, regarded inflation as a sneaky tax; he might have even called it a tyrant’s tax somewhere, but I don’t remember for sure.

  • David

    If people are willing to pay any price for something as unnecessary as coffee, then no one should be complaining about the price

    • Bullet Gibson

      Typical liberal….if YOU don’t like it no one should. Love that liberal open minded attitude.

  • Sterling Smith

    Hey guys coffee is not a at 34 year high, it is not even at 14 year high….the high in 1997 was 3.18 lb and it is currently trading at 296.70. I am professional coffee analyst, and I think we should get the facts correct.

    • Christopher

      Counting inflation, Sterling Smith, then coffee today is 4.54 in 1997 dollars. That makes it more expensive.

      • Sterling Smith

        The article made no note of adjust for infllation.

      • Peter H. Coffin

        You’re working your inflation figuring backwards.

    • Mikie

      Hi Sterling,

      So what do you think the short term future of coffee looks like? I’m waiting for the speculators to take their profits and get the heck out of Coffee Dodge.

      • Sterling Smith

        Spec ibtretest in coffee runs high, but they hardly set the prices…we have a general change in the market with far great demand moiving in. I think we can get close to $4.00/lb near term as supplies are tight.

        I expect to coffee to have a new pricing band with $2.00 lb being cheap and $4.50 being expensive

  • TexasForever

    Hey maybe the Obama sheeple will wake up from their fog and see what this Marxist is doing to their country.
    Enjoy all of the HIGH prices on everything coming your way compliements of Obama and his Democratic thieves.

    • Greg Folkert

      Hmmm… you must be a Tea Party member. These problems started with deregulation of trading futures for certain commodities.

      I wonder which President and Congress that started out under?

      • Roman Gregori

        Of course! It’s Bush’s fault, said Messiah and continued walking on water.

        I have a bumper sticker for you…
        “If you voted for Obama in 2008 to prove you’re not a racist, you’ll have to vote for someone else in 2012 to prove you’re not an idiot.”

  • Freddy

    I’m so glad people are realizing history and the evil fed…I have hope for this country humanity will prevail :)

  • Jessica

    Me too. I love the taste of it. But if it is becoming so expensive I might go with tea or chocolate. It so insane that everything is going up and up and the salaries and the social security checks we get it is not helping at all. We all have elected officials that are supposed to protect us from rising prices. What are they doing for us all in trying to keep the prices rising so much?
    Rents will go up and the morgages are not doing so well either. Those banks and the employees that drind so much coffee will not help at all.
    What should we do? Any suggestions?

    • FLConservative

      Jessica, I must assume from your comments that you are under 30. First, take control of your own life. The only way to get ahead in this world is to work hard and handle your own affairs without wanting others to handle them for you. This includes government. Our form of government was NEVER designed to take care of us, this includes keeping prices low. Many people have already commented regarding the Federal Reserve printing money and putting it into our financial system. This will always cause inflation. The price of coffee is just the beginning. By the way, the Federal Reserve is NOT a government entity, it is a private bank! We are being taken to the cleaners by our government and the liberal left. There are no easy answers it has been going on for to long. But first, start with your own life. Get prepared for what is coming.

  • Say It Ain’t So, Joe: Coffee Prices Hit 34-Year High « The Financial Physician

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  • mike

    Now would be a great time to give up coffee

    • david

      are you mad?? hehe

      • Mark

        I’d give up booze first. Of course, without the booze, I won’t need as much coffee… hmmm.

  • Gibbs Bentley

    The degenerate criminal FED is the cause of all of this inflation. END the FED.

    911essentials is an introduction to the New World Order Central Banking Police State, its plans for one world government and their worship of the pseudoscience Eugenics.

  • greg

    Awesome. I wish I paid 1977 prices for a lot more things.

  • McDade

    And it’s going to get worse….. Fed wiz-boy just acknowledged the dollar, year-to-date (that’s 4 month’s gang) is down in value 6.5%. But, be assured, he is behind a ‘strong’ dollar and will do what is necessary to keep it ‘strong’.

  • Peter H. Coffin

    So the coffee cost $0.45 more per pound, and a $0.10 increase per cup means … Five cups of brew per mound of coffee? Or is it just not worth the bother to only raise the price the 1-2 cents per cup that the increase in bean price actually justifies?

    • david

      it seems like the prices quoted for coffee beans are wholesale, and the per cup is a retail number. not certain, but since I pay 7. per lb. I have come to that conclusion

  • Figley E. Whitesides

    As long as Obama’s followers have their ‘blunts’, alcohol and other drugs, they will sing his praises. The price of coffee, oil, food will all be moving upward.
    People still find it hard to recognize that Obama has a puppet master who is intent on the ruin of this nation’s economy. While each week more proof can be found, the fact that America actually elected this guy and he has been an agent of destruction is so difficult to process, intellectually, many are still in a state of denial about what Obama really is, and what his goals are.

  • npcomplete

    Welcome to “Change you can believe in”.

    Gee, I would have thought that a one term senator with no background or knowledge of economics and a padded resume could have done a better job with the economy! LMAO.

    • Oscarphone

      Who wudda thunk it! Well npcomplete, it sure is obvious to my circle of friends that Mr.Obama was a little thin in the accomplishments department. At one point I was sure that if he was elected, we as a nation could outlast him much like we did with Carter but with Mr. Obama’s level of rabid partisanship, lack of caring, politics of division and general lack of competence I’m not so sure.

  • UncleSam

    Haha – silly Americans thinking it’s all about them as usual. The price of coffee has nothing to do with the dollar. The whole world is experiencing the price rise. That’s right :) There’s life beyond your borders and it drinks coffee – infact it invented it, you just Americanised it. AKA made it bland :)

    • SandiS

      You need to educate yourself, son. Just like oil & other commodities that we may import from other countries will costs more because of the devaluation of our US dollar – you moron.

      Yes, supply & demand (among other variables) matter as well but the valuation of the dollar ALSO plays a key role. My 8th grade daughter even understands this!!

  • Hank Warren

    Inflation, yet another violation of our rights. Add it to the list of gov’t violations of our right:
    They violate the 1st Amendment by placing protesters in cages, banning books like “America Deceived II” and censoring the internet.
    They violate the 2nd Amendment by confiscating guns.
    They violate the 4th and 5th Amendment by molesting airline passengers.
    They violate the entire Constitution by starting undeclared wars for foreign countries.
    Impeach Obama and sweep out the Congress.
    (Last link of Banned Book):

  • Andy

    Try brewing your coffee at home. It’s only about 10 cents a cup that way. Quit spending $4 a cup for some yuppie sweet latte.

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  • Coffee Dude

    i own a 3 coffee shops and roast my own beans. I buy the raw green beans from wholesale brokers. The price of those beans in the article are for commercial beans. The coffee you buy at the coffee shop are specialty beans and the price varies for grade and per origin. I order a pallet a month. I got a delivery last week and compared the price of the same order, same beans, from 11months ago. The price went from $2559.00 to $3709.00. The average price per pound is $3.92. You lose between 15 and 20 percent of the weight during the roasting process. So it turns out to be an average of about $4.85. Then about 20 cents a pound for shipping. You can be liberal or conservative. Coffee is the second highest commodity import next to oil. Inflation is the primary reason for the spike in price.

    • Oscarphone

      Don’t forget to add that the reason we have high and fast inflation is because of the economic policies of this present administration. They are printing money as fast as the printing presses will run 27/7/365 and that ain’t good. The Feds also say that inflation is at 3% or some foolish level and they don’t included food and gas in their analysis. As one reporter said when told that there wasn’t any inflation because you can buy an iPad2 cheaper than and iPad 1: “I can’t eat an iPad.” Inflation is really running about 7 or 8 percent but the boys in DC say it’s not. Tell that to a mom who’s buying formula, Wheaties or hamburger. And the clown act running this country couldn’t care less.

    • Hydejustice

      Thank you

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