I’m not one to get political. To be honest, it’s simply not an area that I invest a great amount of my time and energy into. That’s not always the case, and that’s what has prompted this post.
You see, back in late may the US slapped tariffs on Canadian products–namely Steel and Aluminum (link). And so in a retaliatory move Canada declared that it would imposed a variety of tariffs on US goods effective July 1st (link). Now one of these soon-to-be tariffs will be a 10% hit to roasted coffee beans, that is not decaffeinated. So if you want to continue enjoying coffee from the US and you want the caffeine kick, prepare to pay more.
So what’s the big deal you’re asking? Aren’t there amazing Canadian roasters that are worth enjoying? The short answer is YES. But for many Canadians, there is still limited access to many of the great Canadian roasters without paying exorbitant shipping costs or having to order quite a bit of coffee to qualify for free shipping. If you’re lucky to live in Vancouver (like I used to) you have access to cafe’s that import a generous variety of US & International roasters. And while there are some incredible up & coming roasters doing some amazing things in Canada it still pales to what is available from US roasters. So for any cafe that currently has a contract currently with a US roaster, it’s likely these increased costs will be passed onto the consumer. Places that stock US beans for retail as well will likely have to pass the increased costs to consumers.
Now it’s only a 10% hit, so on a bag of $20 beans that’s only $2 dollars of an increase. But for those of us who go through beans fairly quickly it adds up. And for someone like me who does try to stay to somewhat of a budget each year with my purchases every dollar counts. So all this to say, it’s left me with a few choices to consider:
- Do I continue buying US beans and pay the likely increased cost come July 1?
- Or do I begin sourcing my beans from the Canadian roasters that I can get my hands on here in Calgary?
So this past week I took a trip down to Lukes Drug Mart hearing they got their delivery of Ritual Coffee from San Francisco. I have longed to get my hands on some beans from this roaster and so I was thrilled that I had just finished brewing up what I had at home.
So I picked up a bag of their “Teen Age Riot” seasonal espresso and a bag of their La Folie Caturra from Antigua, Guatemala. Ritual isn’t cheap coffee to begin with but I figured I would treat myself seeing as these bags will be the last of my US coffee purchases for the foreseeable future. I’ve got a trip planned through Idaho & Washington this summer and I am sure to pick up some great coffee during those two weeks. But otherwise I have decided to shift my coffee purchasing habits to the great coffee that is roasted here in this great country.
Has the soon-to-be imposed tariff made you think about where you’ll be purchasing your coffee beans from come July 1st?
Were you even aware that this was happening?
In as much as I do love the amazing coffee roasters in the USA, I do feel that this is a time where we can stand behind our amazing Canadian roasters and support local. If you want to know about some of the great roasters here in Calgary just click my “cafes” tab on my homepage. If you live elsewhere in Canada and want to know what roasters may be close to home for you, leave me a comment. I would love to help connect you up with some great roasters close by.