Colombia on the other hand, which is the second highest producer of arabica, has faced too much rainfall, which has damaged the coffee plantations. Then there is Ethiopia, widely believed to be the birthplace of coffee and currently the biggest producer in Africa, which has been affected by civil conflicts, that in turn have impacted the export of coffee beans.
Other than the crop itself, there are also problems with transporting the coffee from the growers, shortages of containers, higher fertilizer costs and lack of available labour – factors largely resulting from pandemic-related pressures.
“You’ve got a situation where many companies are already stripped to the bone in terms of financial flexibility”, continues Rooke. “There is just no ability to absorb these kinds of cost increases right now”.
Arabica’s downfall is good news for robusta, a coffee bean that is the second most popular in the world, with Vietnam being the biggest exporter. Vietnam too will be battling shipping issues, but at least it has a bumper crop and no problems around production.
If you drink one of the world’s 2 billion cups of coffee consumed daily, you might have noticed your drink costs more and/or tastes different (more robusta than arabica – or perhaps a combination of the two).
The big question you might be asking yourself next time you go in to grab a hot drink is if you will be ordering a flat white or an Earl Grey.
Why Are Coffee Prices Rising and Roasters Using Arabica not Robusta Beans? - Bloomberg
Soaring cost of coffee beans set to be filtered through to customers (telegraph.co.uk)
The real cost of your cup of coffee (telegraph.co.uk)
British Coffee Association