A case for Raw (green) coffee as the optimal Barter item.

Raw coffee, also known as "Green" coffee (beans are a pale green prior to roasting), can be stored easily for years with little loss of flavor or other quality characteristics. Any coffee once roasted will begin noticeable loss of flavor and quality characteristics within weeks, making raw coffee the best form for long term storage.

Coffee is the second most traded commodity on Earth, second only to oil. The United States is one of the worlds top coffee consuming countries. Per capita and overall consumption are both on the rise. Demand for Raw coffee would dramatically increase as regional availability of roasted and brewed coffees quickly disappear due to International Trade interruptions or any one of numerous catastrophic events.

Coffee is easy to roast requiring little more than a pot and campfire or stove to roast enough for a day or a week. Prior to the proliferation of that stuff in a can, coffee was commonly roasted at home on a stove or small device with a drum over a fire. A manual popcorn popper makes an excellent and cheap device for roasting coffee on a stove or open fire. Many excellent and economical manual Coffee Grinders are available in case of electric outages, and are a must have for serious coffee Drinkers.

Nearly all coffee takes a long ocean voyage prior to arriving in the Continental United States. Any disruption to intercontinental shipping would severely cut our supply of coffee. Many fruits and vegetables are grown in the United States but only ONE State can grow coffee (Hawaii), most of which sells for $20 or more per pound now. A failure of International trade agreements could easily keep us from our morning Joe. Even disruptions to Interstate transportation would cut most of the country from our coffee supplies coming from the Northeastern and Western coastal sea ports.

Coffee vs. Precious Metal as a post critical event barter item:

Coffee will be useful as a method of determining a valuable barter partner. Many people will be looking for the simple comforts we have long enjoyed. While very few will be interested in trading for precious metal, those who do will give very little in trade to make up for the large risk they take acquiring it. When resources become scarce, Survivors interested in trading for coffee are probably well supplied in other hard to get items (water, food, shelter, comfort items) making them a good source for what you may need or want, like cream for your coffee.

A simple scenario: You are lost in a desert with a jug of water and a knife; you meet another lost person with a wheelbarrow full of gold bars. How many gold bars do you trade for your water and or knife?

Precious Metals


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Scott Brill
Coffee Professional / Owner
Specialty Green Coffees and Home Coffee Roasting Equipment