i saw a headline. "your coffee is about to cost more and it won't taste as good."
this doesn't seem logical, but it's completely accurate. when the commodity coffee price is low, farmers go out of their way to meticulously sort their crop, experiment, only pick the ripe cherries, do everything they can to command a premium price for a harvest that stands out from the average coffees.
but when the commodity coffee price is sky high, it's a new ballgame. now the strategy is high volume. pick everything you can and get it to market as fast as possible to cash in. don't worry about triple sorting, ignore the low-yielding varietals. don't pick out the defective beans, they're worth too much right now. so what if that cherry isn't quite ripe, go ahead and pick it. you get paid for weight, not for how it tastes.
we're still finding some nice coffees, but we've had a LOT of coffee samples come through in the past few months that just were not impressive. and even the tried and true favorites are not as special as usual. it's going to be a below-average year for spectacular coffees, but these things go in cycles. we'll still support the best farming practices and the farmers who care and we'll still seek out special microlots and when the cycle passes and coffee prices come back down, we'll still have a network of good coffee to purchase.
but for right now, keep your expectations in check. with these record prices, farmers are making hay while the sun shines, and the quality isn't quite what it should be.