Category: Frequently Asked Questions

The Coffee Industry Commodity Chain

Frequently Asked Questions

Coffee is an extremely powerful commodity, reigning as the world's most heavily traded product, behind petroleum, and the largest food import of the United States. The global commodity chain for coffee involves a string of producers, middlemen, exporters, importers, roasters, and retailers before reaching the consumer.

Coffee is a vital source of export for many of the developing countries that grow it. Some 20 million families in 50 countries now work directly in the cultivation of coffee; an estimated 11 million hectares of the world's farmland are dedicated to coffee cultivation. Arabica and Robusta are the two principle species of coffee harvested today. Approximately 70% of the world's production is...

How Coffee Prices Are Set

Frequently Asked Questions

Coffee prices are set according to the New York "C" Contract market. The price of coffee fluctuates wildly in this speculative economy, generally hovering around fifty cents per pound.

Most coffee is traded by speculators in New York, who trade approximately 8-10 times the amount of actual coffee produced each year. The single most influential factor in world coffee prices is the weather in Brazil. Droughts and frosts portend shortages of coffee and the price increases.

Specialty coffee is often imported at a negotiated price over the C market, which is considered a 'quality premium'. Most of those premiums never reach the coffee farmer, but rather stay in the hands of the exporter. This creates a...

The Role of Coffee in the U S Economy

Frequently Asked Questions

Coffee is the US's largest food import and second most valuable commodity only after oil. According to the International Coffee Organization, the US imported 2.72 billion pounds of coffee from September 2001 to September 2002.

The US primarily purchases coffee from Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala, and Vietnam. The U.S. also buys coffee from Indonesia, Costa Rica, Peru, El Salvador, Ecuador, Venezuela, Honduras, Uganda, Thailand, Nicaragua, India, and Papua New Guinea.

In the U.S. alone, over 130 million consumers are coffee drinkers. In recent years, new cafés have been opening at an explosive rate, making specialty coffee mainstream and increasing profit margins for specialty coffee roasters and...

The Role of Coffee in the Global Economy

Frequently Asked Questions

Coffee is the world's second most valuable traded commodity, behind only petroleum. There are approximately 25 million farmers and coffee workers in over 50 countries involved in producing coffee around the world.

Coffee was traditionally developed as a colonial cash crop, planted by serfs or wage laborers in tropical climates on large plantations of landowners for sale in colonial countries. Coffee producers, like most agricultural workers around the world, are kept in a cycle of poverty and debt by the current global economy designed to exploit cheap labor and keep consumer prices low.

An estimated 11 million hectares of the world's farmland are dedicated to coffee cultivation. The largest producer and...

What is Robusta Coffee

Frequently Asked Questions

Coffea Robusta accounts for approximately 25% to 40% of the coffee grown in the world. Coffea Arabica is the most commonly consumed coffee plant. Discovered in 1898 in Congo, Coffea Robusta is the most commonly grown variety of the Coffea canephora species of coffee plant. It is popular among growers because it can grow in less rigid conditions than Coffea Arabica.

The Coffea Robusta coffee plant is heartier than Arabica and can grow to heights of 10 to 12 feet. Unlike Coffea Arabica coffee plants, the Robusta coffee plant does not need to grow at high altitudes. It grows in areas that are between sea level and 800 meter elevation. Additionally, Robusta coffee plants require less care to grow due to the...

What is Arabica Coffee

Frequently Asked Questions

Arabica coffee refers to coffee made with coffea arabica, a type of coffee plant that accounts for 75-80% of the world's coffee production. If you enjoy a cup of cappuccino or an espresso or a cup of specialized gourmet coffee, you're more than likely drinking a coffee based beverage that are using Arabica coffee beans.

Although no one is quiet sure where Arabica coffee originated, most experts feel that evidence shows that it was present in Ethiopia during prehistoric times. Also known as mountain coffee oder arabica coffee, Arabica coffee is now grown throughout Latin America, Central and East Africa, India, and in some parts of Indonesia. It is a type of coffee plant that can only be grown in a tropical...

What is Fair Trade Coffee

Frequently Asked Questions

Fair Trade Coffee ensures that small coffee farmers get a fair price for their coffee. The primary aim of Fair Trade Coffee is to provide the world's coffee producers a fair price for their harvest. This will allow farmers to maintain a decent living wage. Fair Trade guarantees to poor farmers organized in cooperatives around the world a minimum price per pound regardless of the volatile market.

Fair Trade is an attempt to level the playing field between consumers in North America and producers in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Fair Trade Certified coffee is the first product being introduced in the United States with an independently monitored system to ensure that it was produced under...

How To Make A Perfect Cup Of Coffee

Frequently Asked Questions

The perfect cup of coffee is one that satisfies your individual taste. Some like their coffee weak, some like stronger tasting coffee and then there are those whose taste falls somewhere between weak and strong. There really is no secret to making a great cup of coffee. Follow these logical and common sense steps to get the best out of your coffee and coffee maker.

1. Make sure your coffee making equipment is clean. Wash out your coffee maker regularly. If you have hard water, it's easy to get mineral deposits that settle into the machine. A white vinegar rinse through will help this problem tremendously followed by 2 plain water rinses to ensure that the vinegar has been removed.

How To Select A Coffee Supplier

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Objectives of the Selection Process

The objective of the selection process is simply to identify the best-qualified coffee service provider that meets the needs of the company. When selecting a service provider, there are some key questions you should have answered and observations you can make. It is very important that the company keep in mind that the service provider isn't doing the company a favor. Rather, both parties need to treat the relationship as an equal partnership. The service provider needs to show that it clearly understands the company's needs and that the service provider will be responsive to those needs. The selection process also should be cost effective, efficient,...