Here's How Expensive Coffee Has Become With Inflation

To the delight of absolutely no one, the topic of inflation has been monopolizing the global conversation this year. It seems no industry is safe from rising prices, from gas companies to beauty brands to agricultural producers to fast food franchises like McDonald's, who hopes you won't notice this menu item price increase. It's not just consumers who are feeling the hit, either. Major corporations like Walmart are also struggling with inflation, and are lowering their prices to lure customers back to their aisles and clear their shelves of excess inventory.  

Evidently, nothing is sacred when a host of issues — like supply chain congestion, too much demand, and withheld farming resources caused by the war in Ukraine (per NatGeo) — muddy up the gears of the economy all at once. In case you've been too sleepy in the mornings to notice a difference in the price of your daily cup of joe, we're sad to report that coffee is yet another victim of inflation. 

Staying caffeinated doesn't come cheap

According to information compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average price of a pound of coffee grounds in U.S. cities rose from $4.17 in October of 2019 to $5.79 in June of 2022, representing an increase of 38.8%. The price appears to have soared around the new year, rising from $5.24 to $5.41 between February and March. 

While it's no less annoying than any other price hike, most coffee drinkers are accustomed to ponying up an unpredictable sum for their caffeine fix. Unlike products such as eggs, whose price fluctuation has been fairly steady until recent months, coffee has always been somewhat of a wild card. A Drip Beans chart adjusted for inflation via Macrotrends data shows how the price of coffee in 2002 (also known as the year of the global coffee crisis) was $0.77 per pound, compared to $1.1 per pound in 2020. As for iced coffee, that stuff has always been more expensive than your average cup, which Vice believes to be nothing more than "extortion" on the part of coffee shops. Don't even get us started on cold brew.