Our team of researchers regularly share their analysis and other interesting insights about specialty coffee markets, roasters, growers and more. Visit often and feel free to share TTC Insights with others in your networks.

Registered TTC Coffees Provide Benchmark Pricing Information for the 2017 Harvest

Posted on 31st Jan 2017 15:20 in Roasters

This Insight examines the green FOB prices paid for eighty coffees that were registered on the Transparent Trade Coffee site in 2016. Setting aside three outliers, the average green price per pound (GPP) was $3.81. Looking more closely, we see that 21 coffees from Africa had an average GPP of $4.10 and that 15 coffees from Costa Rica had an average GPP of $4.67. We look forward to tracking these averages as the sample of TT Coffees continues to grow in 2017.

Pricing Insights from One Costa Rican Specialty Coffee Farm

Posted on 21st Nov 2016 08:55 in Transparency

This TTC Insight analyzes three years of green pricing data provided by an established coffee estate in Costa Rica. In addition to providing benchmark information for other specialty coffee growers, these 140 contracts from the 2013/14, 2014/15 and 2015/16 harvests provide insights about the effects that coffee quality, purchased quantities, and prevailing commodity prices have on green specialty coffee prices.

Effective Grower Share versus Return to Origin?

Posted on 9th Sep 2016 10:28 in Transparency

Transparent Trade Coffee is considering an important change to its data-reporting practices. Learn how this movement to the Return to Origin (RTO) language serves as a permanent reminder that the true economic treatment of coffee growers depends on the contributions and compensations of a range of in-country actors, which vary greatly across coffee-growing regions and countries. Thanks to Temple Coffee Roasters for introducing the RTO vocabulary to the specialty coffee sector.

In Cup of Excellence Auctions, It Pays to be a Man

Posted on 10th Aug 2016 08:28 in Coffee Market

After examining eleven years of information on the COE winners in nine Latin American countries, TTC has realized a significant gap in prices paid to female farmers. How do the prices paid to male farmers and the prices paid to female farmers compare? How do the cupping scores for female farmers compare to the scores for male farmers? In this Insight, TTC observes the data provided by COE to answer these questions.


In Cup of Excellence Competitions, It Pays to Have a More Experienced Jury

Posted on 2nd Jun 2016 14:11 in Coffee Market

We examined 93 COE competitions held between 2003 and 2015 to assess the implications of jury experience on auction results. Does it pay to have a more experienced jury in COE competitions? The TT Coffee team explores the implications of jury experience and how we might get better prices to the farmers that grow exceptional specialty coffee in our latest insight.

Registered Transparent Trade Coffees – One Year Later

Posted on 9th Apr 2016 19:25 in Roasters

Transparent Trade Coffee (TTC) was launched roughly one year ago to provide a forum where "specialty coffee consumers and direct trade roasters come together to share information and insights about the economic treatment of coffee growers." So far we have registered 94 different coffees were listed by fifteen different roasters that sell coffee in several countries. How should the important benchmarks provided by registered TTC coffees factor in price negotiations at the upper end of the specialty coffee market?  The TTCoffee team explores this question in our latest insight.


At the Upper End of the Specialty Coffee Market, Names Matter

Posted on 17th Feb 2016 22:02 in Coffee Market

Based on the latest SCRPI data, we looked at the average prices charged for specialty coffees that do and do not identify coffee growers in their marketing materials. We found a prominent price premium of 33.5% at the upper end of the market associated with identifying growers.  As the specialty coffee market segments into a stable lower end and a dynamic higher end, the TT Coffee team explores why it is critical to recognize the role played by growers in driving price premiums.

2015 Recap: Numbers to Remember

Posted on 28th Dec 2015 08:34 in General

Since the 2015 SCAA meetings in Seattle, twelve (12) specialty coffee roasters have registered sixty-six (66) direct trade coffees on the Transparent Trade  Coffee website.  What do these early benchmarks tell us?  What questions should we commit to asking in 2016?  Find out in our latest Insight. 

What are Specialty Coffee Roasters Talking About?

Posted on 25th Nov 2015 06:25 in Roasters

Based on SCRPI data, we found coffee retail prices to be higher when roasters identify the farms where the beans are grown ($5.98 more on average per pound).  What specific characteristics (location, elevation, experience of farmer, socio-economics, work conditions, etc.) are roasters talking about when they inform their customers about coffee growers? The TT Coffee team explores how roasters promote these specialty coffees.

Deeper Market Insights from Counter Culture’s Transparency Reports

Posted on 16th Nov 2015 08:27 in Transparency

In October, Counter Culture released its most recent Transparency Report - a must-read for individuals and organizations interested in transparent transactions within the specialty coffee sector. In this TTCoffee Insight, we complement their descriptive statistics by examining the inter-relationships among the variables summarized in the report. For those trying to divorce specialty coffee pricing from the vagaries of commodity market pricing, these observations suggest three useful rules-of-thumb.