Mutombo Coffee: China’s coffee lovers perk up bean prices. $300 a cup?

In Japan’s rarefied world of ultrahigh-end specialty coffee, a savory cup brewed with exquisite Panamanian beans could now fetch 36,000 yen ($313).

The eye-popping price can be attributed in part to the expanding ranks of coffee connoisseurs in neighboring China, whose coffee bean wholesalers are aggressively outbidding their rivals in the international market.   “We haven’t been able to purchase top-ranking beans for two straight years,” said an employee with coffee bean wholesaler Namamame Honpo. “The influx of Chinese buyers is driving up the prices.”

The emergence of Chinese players is changing the market landscape. Several buyers that submitted successful bids at Ethiopia’s Cup of Excellence were enterprises bearing Chinese names.Chinese buyers started taking part in coffee auctions about five years ago. The number of Chinese coffee consumers has soared by upward of 30% over that period as the country’s economic growth has set in motion lifestyle changes.

Robert C. Bush Jr

About Robert C. Bush Jr

I am a senior investment executive with experience across industries (advanced manufacturing, financial services, energy, ICT, e-health, life sciences, security, and retail), geographies (USA, Europe, China, Middle East and Africa), as well as asset classes (venture capital, private equity, Islamic finance). I have engaged in a full array of financial and operating special projects for sovereign-related entities, family businesses, family offices, investment companies, corporates, and startups. I have participated in more than $30 billion in transactions and co-managed assets of nearly $10 billion (usd). I speak frequently to governments, universities, and corporates on issues related to innovation, corporate governance, asset management, and evidence-based investing. Additionally, I provide commentary on live television and international media, including CNN International, Euromoney, and Fox Business News, as well as speak at global conferences, including the UAE’s Annual Investment Meeting (AIM), Milken Conference, Institutional Investor, Business Week CEO Forum, GAIM and dozens of startup pitch events around the globe. My unique, global experiences, love for teaching and learning, as well my established network of relationships, fuel my interests in entrepreneurship, prudent-decision making, and innovation. If you are living a purpose-driven life, let's connect!

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