Even smaller, independent specialty roasters sign contracts to buy their beans well in advance, enough so that when shortages like the ones in Brazil happen, it doesn't paralyze them. They also source from countries all around the world, so gaps from one place can often be filled by another.
Chris Vigilante (pictured), co-owner of Vigilante Coffee with stores in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C., said most specialty roasters don't buy beans on the same international commodities market with the big players like Nestle and Keurig Dr. Pepper. "So we're not as impacted by (Brazil), but we will feel the pressure of it," Vigilante said.
Vigilante said he pays between $3.50 and $5.50 per pound for most of his beans, which are higher quality and produced by smaller farms. He has no plans to raise prices, but if other small shops raise theirs, he said it's likely because the cost for other essentials have risen.
"I've seen other specialty coffee roasters talking about raising their prices, but I think that's more not because of the cost of coffee, but maybe because the cost of some of our other supplies, like cups and equipment," Vigilante said.