July 28, 2015 9 Comments
Daniel and I both drink coffee, at least 3 cups a day each. That adds up! We support human rights and environmental stewardship by buying only fair-trade*, organic coffee for our home. My church also buys fair-trade, organic coffee. This coffee is more expensive than the big mainstream brands. How can we get the most value for our money?
*(Yes, I have heard that fair-trade certification isn’t always perfect; I’m also willing to buy coffee from companies that “have a relationship” with coffee farmers and treat them well but have not obtained official fair-trade certification; what I’m looking for is some acknowledgement that the coffee is grown by people in a place and that these people deserve fair compensation for their labor and this place deserves not to be ruined.)
Buy in bulk.
Organic coffee in the supermarket often costs $10 or more for a 12-ounce (3/4 pound) bag–and then what will you do with that bag? Years ago, Daniel and I made coffee one of the things we routinely bought in reused containers from the bulk section of our local food co-op. Just recently, after he read my post about buying by the case, we talked about other products we might be able to get cheaper if we ordered a case. It turns out that the co-op’s “case” price for coffee is a 5-pound bag. We use about a pound of coffee a week, so 5 pounds is not an unreasonable amount to buy at once, especially since it’s whole beans that we grind shortly before brewing–it won’t go bad or anything. This month, Equal Exchange Breakfast Blend is on sale for $8.99/pound; after the 20% discount for buying a case, our 5-pound bag costs $35.96, which is $7.19/pound–almost half the price per pound of the supermarket coffee! Read more of this post