Monthly Archives: August 2014

Interesting Facts About Where Coffee Comes From

Interesting Facts About Where Coffee Comes FromYou probably haven’t given much thought to where coffee comes from, except when you’re running late and don’t know whether you’ll have time to stop for your morning brew. That aside, you probably take for granted the fact that coffee will always be there when you want it.

It turns out there is quite a bit involved in growing and producing the roasted products you find on the grocery store shelf. It all starts with the coffee beans chosen for a particular blend and where these are grown.

Producing the perfect coffee bean requires the right combination of soil, sunshine, and moisture. However, these things vary so much that it is nearly impossible to create two crops that taste exactly alike. That is one of the reasons roasters blend a variety of beans to produce the distinctive flavors that bear their names.

Two Primary Beans

There are two primary beans responsible for the majority of the coffee consumed around the world. The first, and most common, is the Arabica bean. Arabica accounts for nearly 70% of the world’s coffee; it is available in a number of different varieties directly descending from the oldest known coffee trees in Ethiopia.

The other bean is known as a Robusta. This bean is smaller than the Arabica, but it packs a greater punch – between 50 and 60% more caffeine. Robusta production around the world is increasing thanks to its ability to thrive in warmer climates and the fact that it is less expensive to grow and process. You are familiar with the unique taste of Robusta if you use instant coffee.

Where It Comes From

The best coffees are grown in climates that are near, or at, the equator. That is where you will find the right combination of temperature, sun and moisture. It is also where you will find the best soils. According to the National Coffee Association USA, coffee beans are grown in more than 50 countries around the world.

In North America, coffee production is limited primarily to Mexico. As far as American blends are concerned, the best come from Hawaii. You have had Hawaiian coffee if you’ve enjoyed a Kona blend. Meanwhile, a once robust coffee industry in Puerto Rico is making a comeback after years of dormancy.

Central and South America are where we get most of the coffee sold in the US. The best-known country is Colombia, where growers and government officials take pride in producing what they believe is the finest in the world. Other Central and South American coffee producers include Costa Rica, Guatemala and Brazil.

Africa and the Middle East provide some excellent coffee beans from Ethiopia, Kenya, the Ivory Coast and Yemen. It turns out that the Yemen was the first place coffee was commercially produced. Unfortunately, a sustained lack of water has greatly reduced Yemen’s output.

Lastly, we cannot leave out Vietnam and Indonesia. These countries also contribute significantly to global coffee production. Now that you know more about where coffee comes from, consider giving Galaxie a call. We provide our customers with the finest coffee and beverage service in the New York area.

The Truth behind Rising Coffee Prices

The Truth behind Rising Coffee PricesIt is no secret that the price of coffee has risen considerably since the start of the year. In fact, spikes in retail prices are not all that unusual over the long-term. The fact is that coffee is affected by a number of different factors that cause price fluctuations on a regular basis.

Here at Galaxie Coffee, we want our customers to understand how coffee is priced. We believe that understanding what goes in the coffee prices will help alleviate some of the anxiety customers experience when prices rise. With that said, here is what you need to know about rising coffee prices:

Coffee Production

The single biggest factor determining the price of coffee is supply versus demand. As with anything else, if supply is reduced while demand remains constant or increases, prices go up. That is economics 101. Unfortunately, the two most recent spikes that occurred this past November and January are directly related to lost production.

Brazil is the single largest coffee producer in the world, accounting for roughly 40% of the commercial market. When things go well in Brazil, the coffee market is stable. The opposite is also true. Unfortunately, some parts of Brazil experienced their hottest weather on record in January. What’s more, the two areas responsible for the majority of Brazil’s coffee production have been hard hit by a sustained drought and unseasonably warm conditions.

Some experts say that as much as 30% of this year’s crop was lost due to the weather conditions. Such a steep drop affects prices in both the short and long terms.

Coffee Pricing

Coffee is considered a commodity on the open market, meaning it is sold by way of contracts that can be secured up to 12 months in advance. The nature of these contracts means that buyers must speculate on what they believe the price of coffee will be at the time the contract is fulfilled. Any change in supply has a definite impact on the price.

Practically speaking, contracts that were secured in late 2012 or 2013 could have been negatively impacted by the reduced production out of Brazil earlier this year. Until production resumes at normal levels, future pricing will also be affected. That is the nature of commodity exchange regardless of the particular product you are talking about.

Another part of coffee pricing is directly related to the costs of bringing it to market. For example, one of our biggest expenses at Galaxie is the fuel required to run our trucks. When gas prices surge, we feel the impact.  All the way up and down the production line there are costs built into the price the consumer pays at the market.

Despite recent price hikes for coffee, America’s most loved hot beverage continues to be one of the least expensive beverages per fluid ounce. It is our pleasure at Galaxie Coffee to provide our customers with some of the best coffees in the New York area.