Learn to sip and savor rather than gulp that cup of joe. Its about to become a little more precious. When it comes to the price of a caffeine fix the problem (as it often does) comes from Brazil, the worlds biggest coffee producer. Frosts have hit producing regions there several times within memory 1970 and 1997 come to mind - causing world prices to spike. This year the culprit is drought. Estimates put the crop loss in the state of Minas Gerais at around 30 percent. Thats meant a doubling of futures prices since November when the dry spell set in. Dryness in Vietnam is also affecting a more bitter variety used in instant coffee. Thereve been signs of returning rains over the last several weeks in both places but theyve come too late for this years crop. The cost of a cup later in the year is still hard to pin down but its not too hard to get the idea of where itll be trending. In the meantime enjoy your pick-me-up. Well groan a bit when the price spikes but I bet well all pay the freight.