Caffeine high: bean price skyrockets

BEAN FACTS: Alowishus Delicious says the rise of coffee bean prices will not necesarily mean a rise in price of a cup of coffee. Pictured here is staff member Amy Baldwin. Photo taken on Wednesday, 8 October 2014. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail
BEAN FACTS: Alowishus Delicious says the rise of coffee bean prices will not necesarily mean a rise in price of a cup of coffee. Pictured here is staff member Amy Baldwin. Photo taken on Wednesday, 8 October 2014. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail Max Fleet

WITH coffee bean prices hitting a 2½-year high, some coffee lovers are concerned it could impact the cost of their regular morning brew.

Arabica-coffee prices peaked on Tuesday at $US2.20 a pound on the ICE Futures US exchange, the highest level since February 2012.

And with industry analysts predicting dry weather in Brazil, the world's biggest coffee bean producer, concerns have been raised that takeaway coffees could increase.

However, Bundaberg's Alowishus Delicious owner Tracey McPhee said while the cost of a cup of coffee could rise, it would be because of other contributing factors including labour and electricity costs.

"In the cafe industry, especially in regional Queensland, when you do open after 9pm at night, on the weekend or public holidays there are different penalty rates," she said.

"In recent times, we have seen more cafes opening for longer trading hours over weekends and evenings. If anything we may see a reduction in those hours."

Mrs McPhee said she did not expect the rise in coffee bean prices to impact her directly.

"We source premium beans so there is more margin there for the roasters," she said.

"So I don't think we will be impacted as much as the lower end brands."

This comes as new research, published in Molecular Psychiatry, analysed 120,000 regular coffee drinkers identifying six genes associated with our love, or otherwise, of coffee.

Two of the genes are involved in caffeine metabolism, two are thought to influence the effects caffeine has on the brain, and two are involved in sugar and fat metabolism which may explain why some people need a cup of coffee a day and others don't.

Topics:  coffee penalty rates

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