POSTED: Thursday, September 29, 2011 - 4:13pm
UPDATED: Thursday, September 29, 2011 - 5:11pm
TYLER — It's National Coffee Day Thursday, and in light of the "special day," we decided to look into the seemingly rising prices of our daily cup of joe.
It's a luxury to some, but a necessity to others to start our morning off right.
We spoke to one local roaster who says the higher bean costs have greatly affected his business.
Ray Johnson has owned Coffee City USA in Tyler for 14 years.
Johnson's business roasts thousands of pounds of coffee a day, and then sells it to different retailers across the country.
Due to the recent rise in bean prices, it's taking a toll on his work.
"Right now, it's about $3.25 today. A year-and-a-half ago, it was at about $1.30," Johnson said.
Johnson says he doesn't remember bean prices being this steadily high since about 1997.
He says coffee prices right now are as volatile as gasoline due to a number of factors, including a rise in demand and the climate where the beans are grown.
"People are hanging on by shoe strings," Johnson said. "...It's affected the whole industry with gas prices. It's everything you use in a business that has gone up."
Coffee City USA has had to raise their prices substantially just to stay in business, but some of their retailers just couldn't keep up.
"We've lost a lot of customers who went out of business," Johnson said. "Whole bean, espresso bars, coffee houses, who were customers for 10 years."
Even with hiked prices, it doesn't seem to be deterring east Texans from getting their daily caffeine fix.
"A man has very few pleasures in life, and that's ones of them. I'm gonna get it no matter how much it costs," said one east Texan.
Johnson says another factor of the rising prices is thanks to Starbucks, for starting the gourmet coffee trend.
Now, he says, many of us are becoming more demanding of the "good," higher grade stuff.
Web: Visit http://coffeecityusa.com/ 
For more on rising coffee prices, visit http://www.wdtn.com/dpp/news/local/dayton/price-perk-coffee-costs-going-up .