Bay Area Coffee Shops Pressed By Rising Bean Prices

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(AP)

(AP)

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ANTIOCH (KCBS) – Bay Area coffee drinkers needing their daily caffeine fix may have to pay more for their morning cup of joe.

An increase in retail coffee prices could be brewing as the wholesale cost of coffee beans continues to rise.

During August, the average wholesale price for a pound of coffee has risen from $2 to $2.25, driven in part throughout the year by market speculators interested in commodities.

That translates to an extra $12.50 on the cost of a 50-pound sack, higher overhead large and small coffee sellers could eventually be forced to pass onto consumers if the wave of speculation doesn’t let up.

Customers at the Caffino in Antioch said they were paying 20 to 25 percent more for their morning java, and had no plans to cut back on the daily luxury even if the price inched up even more.

“That’s what happens when you can’t go on vacation, you get coffee,” said Mary Crew, about to order a re-fill for her daughter.

“Can’t afford to go to Hawaii, but I can afford to have a coffee everyday,” Crew said.

KCBS’ Bob Melrose Reports:

The trend has retailers wondering, how much is too pay for a coffee lover to pay?

Megan Cruz didn’t see any limit on how much she might fork over for caffeine.

“Life is overpriced, so you take the good and the bad and you go get a coffee while you’re doing it,” she said.

In the short term, at least, the price spike has leveled out. Folgers and Maxwell House both cut their wholesale prices on 1-pound cans by a dollar, but retail analysts were skeptical that lower price would last or that sellers would pass the savings on to consumers.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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