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Learn how much your stock will cost you

Wholesale coffee is a core part of any coffee business and it can be a bit daunting at first if you’ve never bought wholesale or bulk coffee before.

When starting up your coffee business and planning your financials, it is important to understand how much your stock will cost you. You may want to switch suppliers to begin with whilst you figure out your best option, but what is the typical cost?

Wholesale coffee will generally cost between £6 to £25 per kilo. This depends on a number of factors that should be considered in line with your needs:

  • The quality and cost of the green beans the supplier is using
  • The volume of coffee a business is using
  • The packaging cost to the supplier
  • The business model and margin structure of the supplier

Tips & Tricks When Buying Your Wholesale Coffee

How to understand the worth of your stock

Buying wholesale coffee is a complicated area, so business owners must be vigilant to ensure they understand what they are buying and that they are paying a reasonable price for it.

For example, there is often a percentage of Robusta (sometimes 100%) in darker roasted “Italian Style” espresso blends – especially from larger commercial coffee suppliers. This darker roast masks the defective flavours in the cheaper lower grade green coffee. With clever marketing and branding evocative of mid-20th century romanticised Italian coffee culture, the perception of value is positively affected, even though the relative quality in contemporary coffee culture is extremely poor and the cost of products like this for the supplier is very low.

Equally, exceptionally good quality arabicas need not cost £20 + wholesale. Some speciality roasters will charge this, with their justification being centred on the added value that their brand will bring.

As a general range for speciality grade Arabica beans, either blended or single origin, you should generally expect to pay between £10 and £18 per kilo. This is dependent upon the origins involved, your relationship with the supplier, and the volume you are buying.

Premium Coffee At Premium Prices

The beans which cost an arm and a leg

There are some exceptions, such as Geisha, which commands a hugely inflated premium. This is due to a combination of high demand, limited supply and extraordinary flavour. More brand-centric examples include Jamaica Blue Mountain and Hawaii Kona Prime, which, while very carefully processed, do not justify their inflated cost. Kopi Luwak or “Civet Coffee” is to our mind not worth consideration because of its highly inflated cost, and shouldn’t be considered by any wholesale coffee business.

Civet coffee is produced through coffee beans which have been digested and excreted by the Indonesian Civet Cat. Animal protection charities campaign against the production of Civet Coffee, as it can be made in farms in which the Civet is caged and forced to produce the coffee. Large brands such as Harrods removed the coffee from their shelves to reduce the demand. Those who do purchase it, however, do so for the supposed health benefits. It has a very low acidity making it good for those with stomach issues. It is also meant to protect your teeth because of its antibacterial properties.

When buying your coffee from wholesalers, ensure that you have picked a coffee which is a suitable price and blend for your business. Make sure that you will be making a profit from the coffee, and that the quality will have your customers coming back for more.

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