Customers often ask “Why does the coffee we are buying everyday raise price slowly? Is it worth paying extra for just a cup of coffee?”
Actually the reasons why a cup of specialty coffee is more expensive than a simple cup of coffee might seem difficult to explain, “it just seems a cup of coffee!”
Many customers ignore the fact that a cup of specialty coffee has much more value than they may see it on the outside. It’s a work of a collective craftsmanship which has a lot of hard work behind the scene. So, your customers should understand what they are paying for, when they are enjoying a cup of ‘expensive’ coffee.
Basically, there are three reason you should explain your custmers when they ask why they pay more a specialty coffee.
1. It’s Delicious!
Your customers have probably known that there are 2 big varietals in coffee, Arabica and Robusta. In the Specialty Coffee context, most of the time we talking about Arabica coffee.
Arabica is known to have 44 chromosomes comparing to 22 chromosomes in Robusta, Arabica has a more complex flavours. Simply say, tastes better!
Besides flavours, Arabica is more difficult to grow and take care of. Arabica grows at a higher altitude than Robusta. It also needs shelter and temperature differences between day and night. In the view of its DNA, Arabica has a higher quality than Robusta.
This is common sense, higher quality always costs. This is why Specialty Coffee costs more in the first hand.
2. It is a collective craftsmanship
Again, specialty coffee is a quality focused product.
It is not difficult to notice the craftsmanship of your barista when you walk into a Specialty Coffee shop. If your customers ask their baristas how they make brew better, they can spend a whole day explaining how the coffee was roasted and brewed differently to make morning cup better.
It is the same throughout the whole industry. The coffee has been taken great care since the day it is seeded into the soil. It is said that a coffee bean may change hands as many as 150 from producer to consumer through the whole production chain. In planting, harvesting, processing, roasting, cupping, brewing… Every step has its own precision and each step can contribute to the taste difference in the final cup.
A cup of coffee is a collective art of craft from all the people in the whole coffee production line. This is something magnificent.
3. Just Commercial coffee is cheaper
The last reason is simple but true. Prices are relative. Specialty coffee isn’t expensive, just commercial coffee is much cheaper.
Specialty coffee are usually higher quality varietals, while commercial coffee are usually mass production coffee. 1 Kg of commodity green coffee can be sold at less than USD 2.8. That is why commercial coffee like instant coffee, canned coffee can be far cheaper than those you can buy from specialty coffee shops.
Vanessa Lee is a Hong Kong based barista trainer, working for The Coffee Academics. She is the founder and blogger of Forbidden project (www.forbiddenbean.com). Her coffee-water relations project has been featured by a local media.