Coffee economics

We all know prices for foods seem to be going up everywhere.  Here’s my latest figures on local Timorese coffee economics (in USD) :

The local bit

  • Timorese coffee farmer receives about 30 cents per kg of raw beans
  • After skinning, washing, drying & removing poor quality beans, we end up with 1/6 of the raw bean weight in processed, dry beans in export condition
  • This means the farmer receives about $1-80 per kg of processed beans
  • Processing costs, overheads etc. are (say) around double that

The overseas retail end of the chain

  • A single espresso shot is about 30 grams of roasted beans
  • It takes around 37 grams of processed green beans to make 30 grams of roasted beans, making around 27 shots per kg
  • Therefore the farmer receives around 6.7 cents per shot in your local coffee shop
  • The processing company may get around 5 to 10 cents
  • So if, the raw coffee bean price doubles, all else remaining equal, your espresso price goes up another 6.7 cents

In any case, using this Timorese example, about 10 to 15 cents of your cup goes to the producer and processor located here in TL.  I am assuming export grade stuff in my example.  The cheaper stuff earns a fair bit less.  Similarly, the backyard processing operations.

Enjoy your 13 cents of finest Timorese coffee.

Note : Feel free to shoot holes in my analysis – this being a casual brain dump done under the influence of too much caffeine.