Blame Inflation for Your Bitter Coffee

Posted by - Monday, January 7th, 2013

If you're reading this article with a cup of joe in hand, ask yourself: “Does this taste as good as it usually does?” Chances are – if you're a true coffee connoisseur – you may be disappointed in the flavor. But you'll be more disappointed once you understand why...

Thousands of people all over America have begun to notice a bitter flavor sneaking in their premium products lately.

Here's why...

When Bernanke and the Fed say that inflation “isn't showing up at the consumer level,” we all wonder why and how that could be possible.

But if you're an avid coffee drinker, the answer may lie the bitter taste cynics have been sighting recently.

Truth be told, those cynics aren't just being Debbie Downers; coffee suppliers actually are degrading the quality of our coffee to compensate for inflation.

coffee and inflation
*Image courtesy of Zazzle.

Reuters recently reported that America's most competitive major coffee brands have been discretely altering their coffee blends, incorporating cheaper, lower grade ingredients so they don't have to dramatically increase the price of their product and lose all demand for the premium product.

From their report:

Research out of agricultural bank Rabobank confirms that demand for Arabica beans among coffee buyers "has fallen 27% year-to-date, while Robusta [demand] is 25% higher." This seems to confirm a widespread alteration of the bean mix.

At least one coffee roaster has admitted it. In November, Massimo Zanetti USA, which roasts for both Chock full o'Nuts and Hills Bros., publicly confirmed upping its Robusta usage by 25% this year. 

They demand switch is believed to be directly correlated to price. The price for premium Arabica beans spiked to about $3 per pound while Robusta was about $1 per pound.

From the looks of things, you may be paying top dollar for Arabica beans even though you are actually receiving the lower grade Robusta beans.

Although the average coffee drinker may not care enough to write a letter to the coffee suppliers regarding this issue, critics are worried that this example is just one of many that show how our quality of living is beginning to slowly decline in response to inflation and our slumping economy.


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