This coffee accountability report serves as a benchmark for improvement and to educate staff, wholesale clients, and guests.

It is difficult to represent how dramatically things have changed within the coffee industry since the beginning of the pandemic. At the time we began generating in this report in April 2022, coffee prices have risen 150% from the previous year, and the global supply chain crisis has exacerbated the pre-existing logistical challenge of sourcing coffee. There exists a laundry list of industry concerns, including container shortages, exorbitant trans-shipment quotes, fertilizer costs more than doubling, and a lack of farm workers.

One point remains constant, though. We must hold ourselves accountable for our purchasing decisions. As a small coffee roaster, our impact on the entire coffee industry may be meager, but our buying decisions can significantly impact the small farms and logistical partners with whom we have relationships.

Commonplace Coffee aims to source coffee in a way that supports our supply chain’s long-term sustainability, roast coffee in a way that honors the growers, and brew coffee in a way that presents the best coffee experience to our guests.


Chart Explained

C-Market (in blue) is the price coffee was traded at on the New York Stock Exchange in 2021. To simplify the complexity of commodity trading, the price is independent of quality and based on supply/demand and speculation. It significantly affects farmers who typically sell their coffee based off of the C-Market price, which can vary dramatically from day to day. The average price for the entire year was $1.69 per pound, FOB price, with $1.21 being the lowest and $2.50 being the highest. This range exemplifies how dramatically the price changed throughout the year. FOB price was $2.39 per pound.

Commonplace Coffee (in red) is an average estimated FOB price. FOB pricing was collected by Commonplace in 2021 from all importers, except for one. That importer could only provide a bulk average FOB price. For those coffees, we utilized a low estimate for FOB pricing. Overall, our average weighted FOB price was $2.39 per pound.

Fair Trade Minimum (not pictured) is $1.40 per pound, FOB price, for certified organizations and farmers. When the C-Market is at $1.40 per pound or above, like much of 2021, the Fair Trade Minimum would increase and include the coffee’s differential price.


When determining what goes onto our coffee menu, our desire is to offer distinct coffees on a seasonal basis from a range of coffee-producing countries. We also work to build long-term, viable relationships by purchasing the same coffees annually. When sourcing, we use a framework that allows us to source with intention. In the retail environment, we want to create a gateway for guests into the specialty coffee industry as well as an avenue for them to explore their taste preferences.

Our goals for the future are to continue purchasing coffee using fixed-price contracts; negotiate price based on producer cost of production and quality; and build long-term farm and supply chain partners.


Commonplace seeks to foster local community by supporting regional and national charities through the sale of collaborative coffee blends. We are excited to partner with additional nonprofit organizations as we continue to expand our collaborative blend program. Our goal is to always have a donation-based coffee in our lineup.


This report was compiled by Roasting Operations Manager Dave Smallhoover to provide an overview of our 2021 coffee buying practices. Our purpose in sharing it is twofold: to educate our staff, wholesale clients, and guests; and to act as a public benchmark for transparency and improvement. We are unable to pursue our mission and values without acknowledging our own accountability and influence on the coffee supply chain. Annual reporting helps us to learn from past decisions and build for the future as we work to fairly and equitably source coffees while creating community.

By publishing this report, we hope to offer a deeper understanding of the specialty coffee industry and our role within it. We also want to provide you with information, so you better understand what you are buying as well as your purchasing power when you choose to drink coffee roasted by Commonplace.

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