Green Bean Cost questions


New member
Oct 2, 2008
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First let me say that I know there are variations in the commodities markets that will effect prices, and I know that buying container loads will lower costs.

That said, What range of prices can a small startup roaster operation expect to pay for green beans in lots from 100lbs to 1000lbs?

Kenyan AA

note: i did search and I really didn''t find any answers.

John P

Active member
Jan 5, 2007
Salt Lake City
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A bag of green will be (roughly) 120-150 lbs, depending on the bean.
Price of coffee doesn't go down from 1 bag to 10 bags, but freight shipping rates are a much better deal per pound with the larger amounts.

Prices are wholly dependent on the quality of the coffee, and have a wide range. If you are serious, then shoot a query to a broker or green supplier, etc. Otherwise you will have the appearance of just fishing.
John has pretty much hit the nail on the head. If you are looking at commercial roasting you will need to approach a broker- I am not sure in the US what minimums would be, but coffee from origin is generally shippen in 60kg bags. Pricing is indeed dependent more on quality and the origin than on the commodity market these days... so do not take too much notice if the NYBOT drops $0.20/lb on spot pricing...this generally will have not too much (if any) of an effect on what you would pay for specialty grade Colombian or Indonesian origins. I would suggest emailing a commercial supplier for a rough estimate on pricing- explain you are getting into the business and need a pricing estimate for your business model. They should be helpful.

Fresh Roaster

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Jun 30, 2006
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Rule of thumb should be a minimum of $2.00 before getting into anything too exotic. If you get up to the 1000 pound level you can probably get out the door for $1.50-$1.80 plus freight. If you're close to San Leandro, CA the cost comes down even further.

Our current average for relatively small volume (around 1100 pounds a month) is $1.90. We are next door to San Leandro so we don't pay shipping. That price includes, Mexican Chiappas, PNG Purosa, Colombian Bucamaranga, Kenya AA, Sumatra, Guat Huehue and Organic Costa Rican. Highest price was $2.40 for a single bag of some special El Salvador Estate coffee.