Guest Post: Inflation Hits Coffee As Brewers Secretly Swap Robusta For Arabica

Tyler Durden's picture

From Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg

Inflation Hits Coffee As Brewers Secretly Swap Robusta for Arabica

This article hit close to home for me.  Literally.  It was just over the holiday season that I mentioned to my mom that her coffee doesn’t taste as good as it used to.  She insisted that she was buying the same blend as always and I insisted it didn’t taste as good.  The conversation ended there.

Then I came across the following article and everything started to make sense.  From the Daily Finance:

Reuters is reporting that many of America’s major brands have been quietly tweaking their coffee blends. While most coffee companies consider their blends trade secrets, and are loath to disclose exactly what goes into them, both circumstantial and direct evidence suggests they’re now substituting lower-grade Robusta beans for some of their pricier Arabica, and degrading the quality of our coffee.

Research out of agricultural bank Rabobank confirms that demand for Arabica beans among coffee buyers “has fallen 27% year-to-date, while Robusta [demand] is 25% higher.” This seems to confirm a widespread alteration of the bean mix.

Why the switcheroo? Prepare to not be shocked. The answer is: price.

Now here’s the kicker of the article.


When you get right down to it, if there’s more Robusta in our coffee but people still find it drinkable, and the coffee’s getting a bit cheaper in consequence, where’s the harm?

What’s the harm?  I didn’t think whether coffee was “drinkable” or not was the point of drinking coffee.  The harm is this is just another example of standards of living being eroded by inflation.  Inflation that we are told doesn’t exist.  Just another day in Oceania…

Full article here.

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Spastica Rex's picture

I make my own coffee. It costs pennies per cup.

FreeMktFisherMN's picture

Of course the Phd. economists will maintain that these price spikes for commodities owe to supply/demand fluctuations, and obfuscate the truth that a huge 'ingredient' in the price increases is the inflation CBs have created through money printing. 

I'm pondering buying some JO actually. Looks like it could be bottoming, but who knows?

mercenaryomics's picture

Yeah this will fall under the Fed's standard hollistic CPI adjustments I'm sure.

"Coffee prices aren't rising, they're falling! Now move along, no inflation to see here."

FreeMktFisherMN's picture

People do not understand inflation. They think the dollar is impenetrable. They don't get that in many cases prices ought to be not just stable over time, but actually falling. The roaring 20s had inflation even though nominal prices weren't going up, because prices should have fallen further. And of course ultimately that inflation the Fed created then led to the malinvestment and eventual crash, exacerbated and prolonged by socialist/isolationist policies of course.


The inflation will be showing up soon way beyond the 10% or so estimate or whatever Shadowstats says,  as those 'reserves' sitting on banks balance sheets get lent out and cycled through. And, for that matter, there are already tons of dollars that foreign CBs will dump, too, and it wouldn't matter if the Fed printed more, as there already are so many 'dollars.' The dollar has a ticking time bomb on it.'s picture


10% or so estimate or whatever Shadowstats says.



Dollar Sell-off and Hyperinflation by 2014 – John Williams



BlueCheeseBandit's picture

This past week, WSJ had some shitty hit piece about how awful Ag Comma did in 2012. Of course, performance was similar to equities (although lagging near end of year) if you look at the assets as a whole using DBA or RJA. But they only talked about sugar, cotton, and coffee, the worst performing ones of the year.

So I bought JO and it was up 4% after the debt ceiling debacle.

Thanks mainstream media. Reversing your advice for the win.

Moe Howard's picture

I take my coffee shaken, not stirred. Who can taste the beans with a shot of red eye in it?'s picture

That's my favorite cocktail as coffee is the only mixer I commonly have in the house. Ersatz speedball.

Seasmoke's picture


Joebloinvestor's picture

Wait till you put E15 in your tank.

foxmuldar's picture

I think it was E15 in my coffee on Friday instead of coffee beans. 

lakecity55's picture

Ha. Wait 'til E20. You can drink it or burn it.

Why not just go all the way to Everclear?


Damn. Sorry, Knuckles, I gave 'em another idea.


knukles's picture

What a way to go... stop at the local Quickie Mart to fill the car and the Ball jars from the same nozzle.



chump666's picture

Money printers, you f*cking a-holes.

I love my coffee, there you go Mexican narco nutcases, new market for ya

cxl9's picture

You're complaining about the hidden adulteration of products in a centrally-planned economy, but call the Mexican narcotraficantes "nutcases" when they're supplying a quality product to willing consumers?

chump666's picture

Well you know, we don't go around cutting off heads, skinning hostages, carving out someones dick and balls etc etc etc.

The Mexican narcos basically are the raw cannibalistic version of capitalism.  In other words, great nations, economic power bases, hell even the Aztecs.  All went down that path i.e they devoured themselves.

With the central planned madness and the lower levels of insane behavior (Mexican cartels) going into overkill.  We may not make into the level of evolution.  

Is their coke quality?  I'd say their oil racketeering will lead to civil war in Mexico in the near future.


But - but - but - they got gun control what would make any libtard come all over their pants. What went wrong with all that ?

Just Ice's picture

Gee, just the typical result...gun ban took the guns away from law abiding folks and at best was a small speed bump to overcome for the criminals who never had any lack of weapons...especially with Eric Holder's help supplying them

cxl9's picture

Well, at least the narcotraficantes are mostly only killing each other. It's not as if they're dropping bombs on women and children from airborne drones thousands of miles away ..

Just Ice's picture

"narcotraficantes are mostly only killing each other"

Yeah, right.  Where've you been? ,

But at least the drug trade has allowed law enforcement north of the border to also earn some extra cash 

lakecity55's picture

I think we need to disguise ourselves and go onto those ships at night and toss all the Robusto beans Overboard!'s picture

But let's not dress as Indians. Who can afford the solid gold shirt?

lakecity55's picture


I saw that story, too.

I was thinking "low information voter" disguises.

Moe Howard's picture

Chock full o'Nuts contains no nuts. Who would have thought?

foxmuldar's picture

You just finding that out. haha!

Moe Howard's picture

You got me. Yes, the yellow top had it printed on there.

knukles's picture

Chock Full o' No Nuts?

ShrNfr's picture

Well, Maxwell House does not contain a house, so I guess it is just in keeping with industry practice. I refuse to buy that shit after having breathed it for four years in Hoboken, NJ. We lived 4 blocks from the plant. Of course, it could have been worse. You could smell the pigs in Secaucus from the NJ Turnpike.

Joebloinvestor's picture

What about Grape Nuts?

No grapes 

No nuts.

foxmuldar's picture

I like to stop at WaWa on my way to work each morning for my cup of Coffee and maybe a donut. This past Friday after getting to work and taking a sip of my brew I had to dump it all down the drain. Tasted like mud. In the mornings, WaWa is always busy so there wasn't any reason for a regular cup of coffee to taste stale. Unless of course the employee making the coffee was too lazy to rinse out the pots. When I can't get that fresh cup of coffee in the morning, my day goes downhill fast. I'd rather pay more for the real thing. 

Im mad as hell and Im not going to take it anymore. I wan't all of you to open your windows and yell out loud. I want my fresh coffee and I want it now. 

donkshover's picture

I've had most of my taste buds removed ( not covered by insurance) and very happy with Mrs Olsen and  Folgers in the morning.

Moe Howard's picture

She could make coffee but nobody would slip her the salami if you know what I mean. Wink wink.

buzzsaw99's picture

Ironically it was when Folgers prices went up so much that I started looking around. I get much better coffee now for the same (higher) price. Suck it J.M. Smucker!

cbxer55's picture

I like Folgers Black Silk. It's all I drink, price not worrying yet. Have not noticed the taste getting worse yet either.

buzzsaw99's picture

You won't. Folgers is pure Robusta and I drank it for decades. When the price went up a few years ago I started buying beans from Sam's. Since then the price of Folgers has come back down but I won't go back because I felt like they were trying to squeeze me back then and I hold a grudge a long time.

mckee's picture

Seattle coffee party bitchez!!!!!


glenlloyd's picture

They've been lying about it for quite a while now, there's not enough Arabica to fill all the coffee bags in the world that claim they're 100% Arabica. I'm surprised no one has taken them to task on it before.

Arabica plants produce much less coffee per year than Robusto...but Robusto has a wicked level of caffiene and crap flavor IMO.

Like the USD they've been debasing Arabica for quite a while now.

djsmps's picture

Kroger's has been jacking up prices 25-40% on everything from food to cat litter. Then they put on a sticker that says "New Low Price!"

Moe Howard's picture

You also get to pay double unless you got the fucking Kroger Card.

XitSam's picture

Randomly swap loyalty cards with other people. It messes with their data mining. Or listen to other people in line give their phone number instead of the card and write it down. Also, get a new card giving no info or fake info.

Every store sells your info and purchases to data miners, as well as doing their own data mining. Letting them have your phone number lets the trackers tie your retail purchases with your web browsing. Never give your (real) phone number.

Tijuana Donkey Show's picture

Better pay cash my man. They ask the first time to verify and match with your CC/DEBT card data, and they match off the card after that. And it's not my web browsing, it the neighbors.....

XitSam's picture

Good point, any way they can link it they will. And I do pay cash.

Dave Thomas's picture

I routinely find them cards in the parking lot, I rotate about 5~6 around, you can also ask the customer service desk for a new set without filling it out.

Some states require you to get the discount if you ask without becoming a member.

SanOvaBeach's picture

I don't know where this came from, but the headline on this article is wrong.  Aribica coffee beans are superior to robusta's.  It is reversed in the headline.  Another fuck-up brought to you by ZH.  Does anybody edit the shit that somebody puts on the grill?   Probably not!  ZH, for mis-information!  All you fuck'in idiots out there, your just eat'in up!  Burma Shave