Coffee prices could be on rise, it could affect middle Georgia shops

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – You might possibly be shelling out more cents, maybe even more dollars for your next cup of coffee.

Store managers at local coffee shops in Macon say rising demands along with a fungus growing on coffee plants could make prices go up.

Customers at Taste & See haven’t had to shell out extra bucks for their favorite cup of joe…yet. 

It’s a point store manager Katherine Gonzalez wants to maintain. 

"We have coffee from Ethiopia, the Congo region, from places in Central America like Brazil and Guatemala. There’s coffee coming from all over the world," Gonzalez said. 

She says the unique beans the coffee shop gets from around the world, keeps her patrons coming back, but keeping her price points low could be a challenge. 

"The desire to hang out at a coffee shop is more and more popular, therefore the demand is higher. Which is naturally going to make prices gradually increase," Gonzalez said. 

Along with the popularity of drinking java, there are some issues farmers in Central and South America are facing.

"Coffee leaf rust can be found on the bean of the coffee, and it causes the tree to produce less beans or less fruit," Gonzalez said. 

The "rust" is actually a fungus. 

It isn’t harmful to consumers’ health, but less beans and higher demands means higher costs to get the coffee.

"It’s only gone up about 25 cents per five pound bag which isn’t horrible, so we haven’t had to raise our prices," Gonzalez said. 

Gonzalez wants to keep it that way. 

She says one of Taste & See’s goals is to bring specialty coffees to Macon and middle Georgia, and she doesn’t want the dollars and cents to get in the way of that. 

"We don’t want to have to raise our prices. Nobody wants to have to do that to their customers. As of right now, we haven’t. Yes, there’s a possibility, but we’re going to do whatever we can to keep it so the price stays where it is and affordable," Gonzalez said. 

She thinks prices at Taste & See aren’t going up any time soon, but it will be important to watch how the crops grow in the upcoming season. 

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(478) 745-4141 ext. 311 Skyler joined the 41 NBC News Team in April 2013. He anchors the news at 6 p.m. and also covers stories going on throughout the day. He was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Stone Mountain, Georgia, a suburb right outside of Atlanta. Before heading to Middle Georgia, Skyler worked as a stage manager for WSB- TV in Atlanta. Skyler graduated from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia in 2011 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Multimedia Communication. He went to school initially to be an architect, but one step inside of the student radio station changed everything. While at Georgia Southern, he was exposed to radio and television and became the Program Director of the student radio station and was a part of a team that received a Southeast Regional student Emmy for their work on the program "Inside Georgia Southern Football." Skyler anchored and reported for Georgia Southern University's "Eagle News." There he covered the 2010 midterm elections live as well as reported on stories in the community. In the Spring 2012, Skyler interned for Clear Channel in Los Angeles, California. Skyler is a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated. In his free time, you can find Skyler watching the latest movies and reading up on all things in Hollywood. He also loves spending time with his family and friends and finding inspirational quotes. He loves telling stories about politics, tax dollars at work in the community, and highlighting people and business who don’t normally get the spotlight. If you have any story ideas, email Skyler at shenry@41nbc.com.