Tag Archives: PRICES

Meet the War Veteran Leading the Battle Against Expensive Coffee

This article was originally published in Danish on MUNCHIES DK

Jonathan Zagouri, 29, owns Zaggi's , a coffee bar in Copenhagen. What makes Zaggi's stand out in this city that drowns in cold brew, $6.50 lattes, and Aeropress filters is that all of Zaggi's coffee, cake, toast, and sandwiches cost $2.20. And Jonathan is not the prototype of a Copenhagen barista; he has been with combat troops in Afghanistan, he brews coffee for the upper class as well as street people, and he has declared war against Copenhagen coffee prices.

I started my coffee bar because something new had to happen in my life. I had been in the military for six years and wasn't really at ease with myself anymore. In 2011, I was deployed with combat troops from Slagelse, and I was seven months in Helmand in Afghanistan. It was quite a trip.

The military has given me a lot, for better and worse. I didn't know what I was going to spend my life doing, but I thought that doing something good for others would be the way forward. Whether we actually did something good for others as soldiers is a completely different story.

All photos by Amanda Bødker.

I had been home from Afghanistan for three years before I started my coffee project. I had already dabbled with the idea before I took off, but had neither the money nor the brain activity to make it reality. I was still a little boy when I went to Helmand. I had actually started civilian training paid by the military, but after I sat in the classroom for two weeks and wanted to shoot myself out of sheer boredom, I thought that something drastic had to happen.

So I borrowed a lot of money from anyone and everyone—from family and wherever I could get help. I really haven't earned a dime over the past two years. I have only paid off debt. I spent the money I made in Afghanistan on drinks and drugs and all sorts of other shit. Also for this reason, life was extra hard when I returned home. Being in the military will make you go a little crazy. You may get to the point where you bury yourself a little in your own thoughts and then find some ways to hold the thoughts at bay. And like so many others with that kind of problem, I found my solution in nightlife.

I can shut myself off, and when everything is real bad, my best friend is a bottle of whiskey. I cannot run from it. But it is something you learn to live with. And then you must try to minimize the damage to yourself and the people you care about. I didn't see a psychologist for the first three or four years after I returned home, but I have started doing that now. It does help, but everything takes time. My coffee bar helps me a lot.

Nine out of ten mornings, I wake up thinking "Fuck this shit," but the fact that you create your own little parallel society with the regular customers does give me a life, something happy and positive. And I must remember to appreciate it. It is important, especially when you tend to have a somewhat negative view of the world. It gives me the surplus energy to send a smile to those of my customers who could really need it.

Read the rest on Munchies.

There’s So Much Legal Weed That It Might Now Be Too Cheap

If there's one thing to take away from Economics 101, it's the fundamental rules of supply and demand. When the supply exceeds the demand, prices tumble, which is exactly what's happening right now in the legal weed market. 

According to Forbes, the prices for marijuana in the states where it's legal have fallen precipitously. In 2015, wholesale pot plummeted from $2,500 a pound to only $1,000 in 2016. In Colorado, prices went from $8 a gram for marijuana flower (what the rest of us call "bud") in mid 2016 to a current price of $6. The drop was more dramatic in Washington, where prices decreased from $25 a gram to just $6.

Experts believe this is a result of heavy investment in the marijuana business, which is causing pot production to exceed demand as big-money speculators try to cash in on the emerging market. In the short-term, this market saturation means that prices at the dispensary will be down. But as it becomes more difficult for small growers to turn a profit, they may go out of business, possibly leaving kush fiends with fewer options.

A crowded market might not be the worst thing for consumers, though. When there is a lot of product vying for tokers' attentions, brands are forced to differentiate and go beyond coming up with cute strain names like "Steve McGarrett's Hair" or "God's Vagina 2.0." Some strains will likely rely on celebrity endorsements, like Willie Nelson's Willie's Reserve or Snoop Dogg's Leafs by Snoop. Others will go the Whole Foods route, making organic and pesticide-free bud available at a premium. Some may just try to make their pot stronger.

Still, there are parts of the marijuana market that are holding steady, particularly edibles, concentrated oils, and concentrates made for vapes. There's also the high-end weed market with its $200 blunts that shows no sign of slowing down.

Of course, this is only a concern to those in the eight states where recreational marijuana is currently legal. While the legal weed market is worth about $6.9 billion a year, 87 percent of all marijuana purchases are still made on the black market, which is estimated to be worth, annually, about $46 billion. Some might argue that we're currently living in the Golden Age of Illegal Weed, where dealers are still seeing large profit margins.