Price of coffee beans rising, will it impact your morning cup? - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Price of coffee beans rising, will it impact your morning cup?

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MADISON, Wisconsin (WKOW) -- The price of coffee beans is on the rise.

"We've seen the price of coffee go up 80 percent in the last couple of weeks," said Rob Jeffries, the master roaster for Barriques coffee houses in Madison.

Jeffries said coffee was selling for just more than $1.00/pound six weeks ago. Now, the price is approximately $1.77/pound.

But Jeffries said he's not worried. For now.

Barriques tends to buy it's coffee beans in bulk every three to six months, Jeffries said. At the moment, the stores aren't in the market for beans so they're not feeling the price hike.

The cause of the increase is speculation about the current drought conditions in Brazil.

The current crop of Brazilian coffee beans is being harvested normally. But a lack of rain has left many worried that, come the next crop in May, coffee beans will be in short supply.

Jeffries said Brazil produces about 40% of the world's coffee beans. He said that's proportional to the amount of Brazilian beans Barriques buys.

"With our espresso blends, for instance, we use a lot of Brazil," Jeffries said.

Jeffries said it's not uncommon for the price of coffee beans to fluctuate. Especially because many coffee buyers are commodities traders looking to make a profit rather than roasters looking to use the beans.

"I've been doing this 25 years and seen the cycles come and go," he said.

But if the drought conditions in Brazil bleed over into April the current price increase could become more of a worry, Jeffries said. He added that could also force Barriques, as well as most other coffee houses, to compensate for the extra expenses through increasing prices.

"That's just a market reality," he said.

Hope Villiard, a second year medical student at the UW-Madison, said she drinks coffee "almost everyday."

She said even a small price increase could impact her daily consumption.

"Now I have no problem buying a cup out or at school," she said. "I don't make coffee at home."

"But I'd probably be more conscious if I was spending an extra 5 cents or so a cup," Villiard said.

The USDA estimates a 10 cent increase in the price, per pound, of beans translates to a roughly 2 cent increase in the price of a cup of coffee.

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