How Much Is Your Iced Coffee?

Have you noticed an increase in iced coffee prices in your area? Perhaps, at your local independent coffee shop? Gothamist writes that the increases — which has been anywhere from a few cents to a full dollar — are due to a variety reasons including a bad crop year:

In May, the New York Times went into detail about a coffee fungus that attacked fields in Central America, leaving less product to purchase. And fungus isn’t the only way mother nature is striking back at coffee lovers. According to, “The price of Arabica coffee beans has surged almost 100% from a level of 106 cents per pound to around 220 cents in mid April, due to tight supply as a result of prolonged drought in Brazil, followed by recent floods.” Even large chain operations like Dunkin’ Donuts have been hit by the coffee price hikes.

Plus the cost of having ice in your iced coffee:

Many coffee shops have their own ice machines but this results in other unexpected expenses. “In people’s minds, ice is water, and water is free,” says Autumn Stanford of Brooklyn Kolache Co., where a 24 oz iced coffee goes for $3.75. “But the reality is we go through tons of ice. We have a maker, but we buy ice to supplement. And our electric bills go up just to run the ice maker. We didn’t anticipate that when we started. When people charge you for a cup of ice at a deli or grocery it could be costing them 50–75 cents just for the ice and the cup.”

At our office, Matt, who has ensured that we are only drinking the best cup we can afford, has our coffee beans delivered and prepares coffee two ways: cold-brewing for 24 hours to create a concentrate we use the next morning, or does the Japanese method:

We are spoiled, though sometimes when Matt’s not around, I’ll try to do it myself or will run to the deli downstairs which makes iced coffee by making hot coffee and cooling it down in a tub and then pouring it over ice (the Times explains that brewing coffee hot makes it bitter). But you drink what you can get sometimes, plus the deli keeps its prices stable because it’s using mystery beans.

Photo: Kenny Louie

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