What a Cup of Coffee Really Costs

specialty coffee shop
Gourmet coffee consumption reached over 50 percent for the first time in 2019, according to the NCA 2019 Coffee Data Trends Report

The price of a pound of coffee beans may be dropping fast, but that doesn’t mean consumers will get a break on the cost of their morning brew.

Edited excerpt – read the full post at MarketWatch

By Jeanette Settembre


A pound of wholesale arabica coffee beans has been selling for under $1 since March, the lowest price point in more than a decade. One pound of ground coffee will make about 48 cups.

But experts say consumers will still be paying the same price for a cup of coffee or latte in stores and cafes. While wholesale coffee prices have been dropping, coffee prices for consumers have actually been going up.

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3 Highlights From the National Coffee Association USA Convention 2019

Specialty coffee cupping session at the NCA Convention in Atlanta
Spencer Turer (Coffee Analysts), Julie O’Brien (The Coffee Trust), and Monica Walker (Walker Coffee Trading) enjoying a cupping session led by Blue Donkey Coffee at the NCA 2019 Convention in Atlanta

Pt. 1: The Crema the Crop


Leaders, experts, and entrepreneurs from across the coffee industry came together for the 2019 NCA Annual Convention in the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel in Atlanta, GA. The 3-day event was themed “Coffee at the Crossroads” and sponsored by Community Coffee, which is currently celebrating its centennial anniversary as a family-owned company.

From networking events to specialty coffee education, the jam-packed (and highly caffeinated) conference offered something for everyone.

Here, we’ve highlighted a few of our favorite moments, with more to come in the weeks ahead.

(If you attended #NCA19 and want to share what you’ve learned, share a comment below or tag @nationalcoffeeusa in your photos!)

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NCA National Coffee Data Trends 2019

Growth Chart

The Behaviors & Perceptions of U.S. Coffee Drinkers

63% of American adults drink coffee daily, according to new market research announced at the 2019 NCA Annual Convention in Atlanta.


The National Coffee Association USA (NCA) offered a first look at the redesigned and rebranded 2019 National Coffee Data Trends (NCDT) today at the 2019 NCA Annual Convention in the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel in Atlanta, GA. The NCDT report has tracked consumer behaviors and perceptions shaping coffee trends in the US for almost 70 years.

63% of American adults drink coffee daily, according to the NCDT, steady with 2018 consumption.

“Coffee is America’s most beloved beverage – and for good reason,” said William (Bill) Murray, NCA President & CEO. “New consumer values have changed the game for coffee. But the industry is adapting – and thriving – by embracing innovation and transparency.”

From sustainability to wellness, these realigned priorities mean that consumers are paying more attention to what’s in their cup than ever before.

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TRUE Green & Roasted Coffee Taste Descriptions

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Exploring TRUE coffee descriptions: Trustworthy, Realistic, Understandable, Enticing

A Shared Industry Vocabulary to Keep Us On the Same Page

Learn more about coffee quality: Join Blue Donkey Coffee for a specialty coffee cupping at the 2019 NCA Convention in Atlanta, March 7-9


Part I: How To Communicate TRUE Coffee Quality

The following article was originally published as the first installment of a 2-part special series in Tea and Coffee Trade Journal in the July/August 2018 and September 2018 issues

By Spencer Turer, Coffee Enterprises – via LinkedIn


Aroma and taste descriptors are most easily understood when primary flavors are referenced for the perceived attribute.

When attributes are categorized into groups it becomes difficult to understand their meaning without additional training or explanations. Confusion is created when conclusions are used for flavor descriptions, or when adjectives or verbs are used in place of nouns when presenting descriptions.

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How To Communicate TRUE Coffee Quality

Baristas training to make the perfect cup of coffee

Learn more about coffee quality: Join Blue Donkey Coffee for a specialty coffee cupping at the 2019 NCA Convention in Atlanta, March 7-9


The following article was originally published as the first installment of a 2-part special series in Tea and Coffee Trade Journal in the July/August 2018 and September 2018 issues

By Spencer Turer, Coffee Enterprises – via LinkedIn

“Coffee professionals are enthusiastic, passionate and place a high priority on product education – but we often create jargon and use insider’s vernacular not easily understood by consumers.”


How do we encourage or persuade customers to try our coffee?

Communicating the virtues of the coffee will attract the attention of buyers, for both green coffee and roasted coffee.

The success of any beverage program starts with quality: how does it taste? Branding, promotion and merchandising will capture the first sale, but only quality will keep your customers returning time after time.

Together we will explore how to create TRUE coffee descriptions:

Trustworthy, Realistic, Understandable, Enticing.

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