I once read an article claiming that the average coffee touches a thousand hands, or 500 people, before you can enjoy it brewed in your cup.
When all the hands work together, we enjoy the benefit of the coffee in a cup.
However, a few hands can drop the ball and can cause chaos. A chaos that prevents the final product in your cup.
Sometimes external forces are the cause. Economic, political or geographical impacts can break the chain.
We at Quaffee have always pursued a path where we support as many local hands as possible, bringing as much of what we do from local sources. In the case of most of our African coffees, we have tried to work with local hands over the last decade to get as much done within South Africa. Using local providers who work with partners we knew and trusted.
Over the last month, the effect of a few hands has crippled a trusted partner who has worked with us in sourcing some great coffees. Most of the African coffees we have offered have come through this source. They have now been affected by external forces, so most of the African coffees we offer will be unavailable. In the short term, we will lose most of the specialty African coffees we have offered. Our popular Ethiopian Yirgacheffe and Guji are already gone. We also have limited amounts of Burundi and Kenyan coffees.
Since other factors have also battered us, we have a small cash reserve to look towards sourcing these coffees as we did before via the European and UK agents, as we used to do. The fact that coffee prices have also doubled (and even tripled in some cases) implies that our cash flow limitations allow us to only look at bringing in these coffees in December this year, if at all.
Some good news
A new kid on the block who is bringing in some great Rwandan coffee may mean that we at least have that to look forward to. Also, we have our Colombians in stock and more are on their way, with a few Central coffees to boot.
We have made a plan for the budget blends, at least for now. We have also been affected by limited supply, and as a result, price increases. Currently, we have kept our prices unchanged for these coffees. However, we may need to review these prices, which suppliers have increased 10-25% in the last few months alone.