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Brits Will Pay More for Coffee Post-Brexit

A weak pound means more expensive lattes

HugoH/Flickr

The British are historically a tea-drinking population, but in recent decades sales of the traditional beverage have fallen dramatically as coffee consumption has steadily increased. And in a post-Brexit landscape, it seems they'll be paying considerably more for their espresso fix.

According to Bloomberg, it's small domestic roasters who are feeling the pinch. Shortly after the nation voted to leave the European Union, the pound quickly fell to a 30-year low against the dollar; since coffee beans (and most other imported commodities) are paid for in U.S. dollars, that means said roasters are now paying considerably more for their beans.

Square Mile Coffee Roasters owner Anette Moldvaer tells Bloomberg her cost for green coffee beans has suddenly risen dramatically: "The second payment on a $150,000 order of 18,950 kilograms of Costa Rican beans got about $7,500 more expensive after the June 23 referendum," though Moldvaer tells Eater the company hasn't passed that increased cost onto its customers. And if the pound remains weak, consumers can expect to feel the impact at their local coffee shops, too: Bloomberg notes that "The impact on sales of drinks tends to lag a few months behind as roasters first clear stocks of beans."

The British aren't the only ones facing higher coffee prices, however: Here in the U.S., Starbucks just instituted yet another price increase that raises the cost of some drinks by as much as 30 cents. That comes fresh on the heels of an announcement that the chain would raise wages for nearly all of its U.S. employees, but the coffee giant also has another big issue to contend with: a looming global coffee shortage that's largely being credited to climate change.

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