Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Shot of Coffee Macroeconomics

A large part of the coffee industry is marketing coffee on the basis of its national origin. In the Blanchard’s coffee roasting room, for example, there is coffee from Ethiopia, Perú, Mexico, Tanzania, Indonesia, India, Kenya, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Honduras – just to name a handful. Whatever the reasons may be for such geographic diversity, a coffee’s origin has tremendous weight in determining the value of a bag of beans and how many are sold worldwide.

So in the spirit of investigation, I have selected data on coffee exports from the International Coffee Organization (ICO), an London-based organization that compiles an array of impressive statistics related to global coffee trading. Visit their website (and/or do some fact checking) at:

Before you scroll down, however, take a guess as to the largest exporter of coffee from the list of countries I provided above. When you’re ready, take a look at the information below. The data was compiled for exports from October 2009-March 2010 and the quantities refer to 60-kilo (approx. 132 lbs.) bags of coffee.

Drum roll…

Some stats from the countries in our roasting room.
Indonesia – 2,205,000 bags
India – 1,990,000
Honduras – 1,719,000
Perú – 1,343,000
Mexico – 1,302,000
Nicaragua – 720,000
Ethiopia – 706,000
Tanzania – 458,000
Kenya – 282,000
Dominican Republic – 18,000

A friendly reminder: If you want freshly roasted coffee from one or more of these featured countries, you can come by the shop during regular hours, order online (, call in (804.687.9443) or e-mail ( Whether it’s widely traded like Indonesian coffees or comparatively rare like Dominican coffee, we’ll be roasting it fresh for you.

Written by the Czar of Coffee - Jonathan Lesko

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