Here at Lake City Coffee, we have not increased our coffee prices in over 8 years. Lord willing, we’ll be able to keep prices stable for at least the near term. The only way we will be able to accomplish this is with a little creativity on our part and a little help on yours. If you’ll read this article on packaging and shipping options, it’ll save you and us some money.
Shipping Costs Are On The Rise
As with most businesses, all our costs have risen significantly. Our largest cost increase has been USPS shipping, which has increased almost 40% over the last 12 months.
So, why are we using USPS Priority Mail? First, they’re the least expensive carrier for priority shipping. Priority shipping is important because we want our fresh roasted coffee shipments delivered anywhere in the US within 24-72 hours.
Changes at USPS
Up until recently, a all of our customers received their coffee inside USPS Priority Mail Regional Box A’s or Regional Box B’s. These regional boxes saved us about $4-6 per box.
After losing $3.2B over the last three years, USPS has been making a lot of changes.
- Elimination of our much used and cost saving Regional Box A’s and Regional Box B’s.
- Increased prices across the board
- Eliminated regional pricing
- Dispensed with volume pricing
- Increased delivery times
- Eliminated guaranteed delivery dates
These changes left Lake City Coffee with only 3 viable Priority Mail containers.
- Padded Envelop
- Medium Fixed Rate Box
- Large Fixed Rate Box
For many years, we’ve bagged our coffee into one pound old fashion Kraft paper tin-tie bags. These are the same kind of bags that your great grandmother received at her local store. They were, and still are, sturdy, easy to use, re-sealable, and we love their retro look. Until recently 100% of our USPS Priority Mail Boxes were filled with these tin-tie bags.
When USPS recently eliminated our primary use of Regional Box A’s and Regional Box B’s, we started looking at other options. We found USPS Priority Mail Padded Envelops. These USPS Padded Envelops are our least expensive option for shipping coffee. Unfortunately, tin-tie bags wouldn’t fit into these padded envelops.
Why Air-Tight Pouches Are Awesome!
Now we had to find a coffee package that would fit into the USPS Padded Envelops. Eventually, we found Air-Tight Pouches, which have a similar retro look as our tin-tie paper bags and we can fit up to 3 air-tight pouches into a single USPS’s Priority Mail Padded Envelop. Fortunately, a large majority of our orders are for 3 bags of coffee. Additionally, the shipping price per bag worked well for us. Below is a list of some major advantages to you, when we put your coffee into one of these air-tight pouches.
- Air-Tight (Triple heat sealed)
- Resealable zipper top (still air-tight)
- Oxygen Absorber Packet for exceptional freshness (placed in bottom of your bag)
- Cupboard Ready, keeping your beans much fresher for weeks
- Freezer Ready keeping your beans much fresher for months
- Nitrogen (Read Below)
Oxygen Absorber Benefits
As any prepper will tell you, the enemy of keeping food fresh is Oxygen. Fortunately, Oxygen absorbers are simply food grade packets of powdered iron. Expose iron to Oxygen, which is in our air, and the iron will rust. The rusting process simply turns Oxygen into Nitrogen.
Since Nitrogen is an inert gas it’s the perfect environment for keeping food fresh. As a side note; don’t eat the oxygen absorber. You’ll find this packet in the bottom of your Lake City Coffee pouch.
Nitrogen also takes up more volume than does Oxygen. That’s why the dark roasted coffee envelops will expand, puffing up the air-tight pouch. This is good. Not only are the beans kept in a good healthy food preserving environment, additionally with the puffed-up pouch, the beans are being protected from getting damaged. It’s a win-win all the way around.
From this point forward, we are no longer using Tin-Tie bags. We are exclusively using air-tight pouches.
Bean Size Determines Bag or Pouch Size
As your coffee beans are roasted, they expand, much like popcorn. You’ll find that our Delectable Dark roast coffee bags are double the size as our White Lightning, leaving our Majestic Medium and Delicious Decaf somewhere in the middle.
That’s why we have smaller pouches for our White Lightning and larger pouches for all of our other roasts. Regardless of the size of the bag or pouch, each one contains a tad bit more than 14 ounces per bag or pouch. Why 14 ounces? Because our largest bag will only hold 14 ounces of Delectable dark. For consistency’s sake, all our bags are filled with 14 ounces of roasted coffee.
How Can You Help?
Due to USPS's box sizes and shipping prices, orders of 4 or 5 pouches are very expensive for us. If it's not inconvenient for you, we'd prefer that instead of ordering 4 or 5 pouches, that you order 3 or 6 pouches of coffee, which is far more cost effective for us.
Yet, if you really want just 4 pouches, then we'll gladly fulfill your order of 4.
Thanks for your help,
Russell & Alisha Volz