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Coffee guzzlers may have to fork out more

Consumers in Finland – the world’s biggest per-capita coffee drinkers – could soon be forced to pay more for their daily brew.

Two women on their coffee break
For Finns, coffee breaks are crucial moments of the day. Image: Yle

The country’s biggest coffee roaster, Paulig, warns that prices may rise as worldwide demand is rising faster than supply. Unpredictable weather conditions are also making planning difficult.

Elisa Markula, director of the Paulig Group’s coffee business, notes that global coffee reserves are at their lowest level in decades, and that it will take several good harvests to replenish them.

The new harvest year begins this month in Brazil, the world’s leading coffee producer. The success of the new crop plays a dominant role in setting prices per cup around the globe.

“There has been considerable turbulence in coffee prices over the past three years,” she says. “There are many factors that affect the price, such as the state of the world economy, weather conditions, speculative behaviour on the wholesale coffee market, and the dollar’s value against the euro.”

The price of raw coffee is calculated in pounds and US dollars.

Image: Yle
Finns prefer light-roasted arabica

The most widely-produced coffee varieties are arabica and robusta. Most of what is sold in Finland is the costlier arabica.

According to the International Coffee Organisation, the average Finn last year consumed an average of 12.3 kilograms of coffee beans. The vast majority – 94 percent – is sold as light-roast coffee. However in recent years there has been an upsurge in interest in dark-roast and other speciality coffees.

Paulig imports more than 60,000 tonnes of raw coffee annually. The beans are brought in by ship to eastern Helsinki’s Vuosaari port, which is close to the firm’s main roastery. Paulig has been a family business since it was established in 1876.

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