We've been warned in the past, and now it's happening again: Coffee prices are spiking due to drought. Soon, we'll probably have to find an alternative source for morning energy.
Bloomberg reports that there hasn't been any significant rainfall for almost a month in Brazil's Espirito Santo state, where most of the robusta coffee is grown. That variety is what's used to make instant coffees, which are extremely popular throughout the world. Prices for robusta have been reported to be at a four-year high in London, and arabica bean prices are being boosted as well.
Brazil isn't the only place feeling the drought, either. Vietnam and Indonesia are also taking a pretty hard hit. Crop quality and production are expected to be low, and farmers are looking to use arabica beans in place of the robusta, which is more expensive, hence the driving up of the coffee prices.
Arabica beans are the preferred kind for Starbucks, so we can probably expect a price increase there as well. NBC Connecticut interviewed some of its local coffee shop owners to learn about how they are dealing with the shortage.
One coffee shop owner told them that she gets her beans from 17 different countries, and that diversifying her source is what helps her stay on top of her game. “Every seven years this happens and it’s historical in the coffee business and the fact that we are diversified in where we get our beans is what makes the difference,” the shop owner said. She also mentioned that her coffee beans are grown in a way that they won't be as affected by the drought anyway.
“Our beans are shade grown up in the mountains and that’s a whole different water table than what’s low-land,” she explained. That's smart thinking, and it will take innovation like that to work around these types of conditions.
Many feel that as prices rise, they might have to start searching for an alternative way to start their day. Some sort of energizing drink that's better for you than soda, but does the job of coffee. I'm sensing a new market trend and that's always exciting!