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Wake up and smell the coffee but where's the best value espresso?

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Coffee beans Copyright Canva
Copyright Canva
By Doloresz Katanich
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Coffee prices continue to rise in the continent but at a considerably slower rate than last year's double-digit price hikes.


Coffee prices hardly increased in the EU in March, they inched up by 1% on average, hitting a 32-month-low inflation rate for this category. This compares to the hair-raising pace of growth last March when the commodity jumped by 13.5% in yearly comparison. 

The inflation rate for coffee has been declining since October 2022, when it was at its highest, reaching 17.4%. 

Although the increase in coffee prices slowed down in the EU overall, there are significant differences across countries. 

The highest inflation rates were registered in Croatia where coffee cost 7.4% more than last March. This rate towered over the average 2-3% in countries known for their coffee cultures, such as Italy, Spain, Portugal and France. 

Going further North in Europe seemed to go South in coffee prices. The most substantial negative inflation rates were recorded in Finland (-15.5%) and Lithuania (-15.4%), followed by Denmark (-7.5%), Czechia (-6.5%) and Sweden (-6.0%).

Where is Europe's most expensive cup of coffee?

People in Denmark pay the highest price for coffee in Europe. But its prices are also believed to be the most expensive for the commodity globally, according to a recent study, by coffee grower Cafely, which compiled data from the International Coffee Organisation, among others. 

Denmark has the highest average coffee price at $5.40 (€5), with a well-rated place in the heart of Copenhagen called Original Coffee Strandlodsvej charging 42 DKK (€5.63) for a cup of cafe latte. 

Other European countries, including Switzerland, Norway, Finland, and Sweden, have similar rates, mainly due to their high living costs. 

However, despite the high prices in Denmark, outstanding prices appear to be preserved for tourists at places such as the Saint Mark’s Square in Venice, where a cappuccino with whipped cream costs €12 at the Caffe Lavena. And in Paris, the 140-year-old Les Deux Magots offers a Cappuccino for €9.00. 

Regardless of the price hikes, Europe is a fertile ground for coffee businesses. According to the report, the top ten countries in the world drinking the most coffee in their lifetimes are all European when they are ranked on their daily cup of coffee per capita. 

Luxembourgers drink the most coffee, more than 5 cups a day on average, and they spend around $425,618 (€391,700.50) on it over a lifetime. 

Finland occupies the second place on the list, followed by Sweden, Norway and Austria.

Are coffee prices going to pick up again in Europe?

Poor weather conditions had pushed cocoa and Robusta coffee prices to record highs at the end of March. 

At the end of April, the commodity market saw the price of robusta coffee, used in instant coffee and some espresso blends, reaching a 45-year high, due to a reduced supply from the largest grower Vietnam.  

This record eased off somewhat since, but the rates are still elevated and are expected to affect prices on coffee shop menus and supermarkets in the coming months. 

In the long term, prices across the globe are expected to be affected by a variety of factors including **extreme weather**andreduced land supply for growing crops. 

However, the World Bank's commodity markets outlook, published in April 2024 is less pessimistic in its outlook. 

It forecasts a drop in Arabica coffee prices in 2024 (-3.1%) and in 2025 (-1.1%). Robusta prices, already over the roof, are expected to suffer a total of 33.2% increase in market prices in 2024, but in 2025, the rates are expected to fall by 20%. 


Meanwhile, there is an increasing demand from China. As the second-largest population in the world has developed a liking for coffee, analysts expect a boost in prices.

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