TODAY'S QUESTION: How much would coffee have to cost for you to stop drinking it?

Thursday, March 10, 2011 | 10:59 a.m. CST; updated 4:33 p.m. CST, Thursday, March 10, 2011

How much are you willing to pay for your morning joe?

The New York Times reported Wednesday that hotter than usual weather in Colombia, the second largest coffee-producing country in the world, might cause yet another price increase for the popular commodity.

The Financial Times reported in late February that coffee prices had reached a 34-year high at $2.78 per pound. The highest price was in 1977 when prices hit $3.44 a pound.

With the shrinking stockpiles in both Colombia and Brazil, price hikes at the grocery store and at specialty coffee shops seem imminent.

Starbucks has already raised its prices on larger and "labor intensive drinks," and it said "it could not rule out the possibility of raising the price of packaged coffee in other channels, including grocery, in coming months."

Folgers, owned by J.M. Smucker Co., has historically led the grocery store coffee market in changing prices. Competitors like Kraft, which owns the Maxwell House brand, usually follow suit.

The website said the 2010 National Coffee Drinking Trends report puts about 56 percent of Americans as regular coffee drinkers. Despite price increases, 84 percent of coffee lovers did not report any change in drinking habits, the report says.

With another increase in coffee prices as a possibility, is there a price that's too high for you?

How much money are you willing to pay for your coffee products?

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Courtney Shove March 10, 2011 | 10:31 p.m.

It pains me as is to buy a cup of regular brewed coffee at Starbucks for $2. I usually opt for making my own at home. It costs me about $0.50 to brew a cup of coffee with my Keurig, and I'm not willing to pay much more than that.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking March 11, 2011 | 3:30 a.m.

It amazes me that in this era of supposed austerity, that places like Starbucks do as well as they do.

Brewing my own coffee costs me maybe 50 cents/day, and I'd pay quite a bit more for it, because it would still be a very minor part of my income.

A related question would be how much one would pay for a gallon of gasoline?


(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith March 11, 2011 | 4:48 a.m.

@Mark Foecking:

Surely an observant and savvy person like yourself has noticed that "austerity" is a relative term.

Perhaps the best illustration of the words "austerity" and "coffee" occurred in the waining months of World War II when Germans were drinking a "coffee" based on sawdust. I'm told by Germans that it was pretty awful.

[It may be that a few restaurants in this country have gotten hold of the "formulation."]

(Report Comment)

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