Tumbling coffee bean prices will really only save you money at home

by Mary Beth Quirk, Consumerist

Have you heard the news? Everyone’s talking about it! Or really, just people interested in the coffee market. Anyway: Coffee bean prices are falling, tumbling and otherwise plunging to new lows. Sounds great, right? Well, sort of. Unfortunately, it doesn’t mean you’ll be able to waltz into Starbucks and glory in cheaper prices on the menu.

Quartz explains that all around the world, prices for arabica coffee beans are pretty darn low. This dip in prices has been going on for some time and it seems they’ll keep trending downward, as Brazil is in the midst of bumper crop of beans and it sells much of the world’s coffee. As of yesterday, arabica coffee futures are trading at their lowest in about five years.

But while that’s nice and good for coffee chains looking to pick up a bunch of beans to fuel in-store sales, there are other factors that come into play that will likely stop any of those savings from leaking through to the customer.

What kind of things? The cup your cappucino comes in, for example — costs money. So does hiring workers, renting or leasing physical space for a store, transporting materials, even the price of the milk that goes into a latte all gets factored in to what amount you pay at the register. Unless the cost of all those different factors also goes down, you probably won’t notice any difference at your local cafe.

Perhaps the only way you’ll notice a slight decrease in your coffee costs is to buy the beans yourself at brew’em at home. And then you can pat yourself on the back for getting in on those cheaper beans.