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.