Endangered Espresso

Shallow focus photography of coffee from Two Guns Espresso, Manhattan Beach, United States. Image by Nathan Dumlao (CC BY 2.0)

According to the British Coffee Association, on average the UK consumes around 98 million cups of coffee each day[1]. In the US, that figure is closer to 400 million[2], but a recent study has found that climate change and rising global temperatures will see a significant reduction in the suitability of the land and soil in key geographical regions such as Brazil and Vietnam to support such growing consumption.

Over the next three decades, we are likely to see a reduction in the ability of such soils to grow Arabica. This will see new areas of the globe such as New Zealand and Argentina becoming better suited to growing other varieties of coffee crops such as Robusta and Liberica.

Such dramatic changes to the supply of one of the world’s most popular beverages is likely to affect consumers, but also deeply impacts the livelihoods of the farmers who grow these crops. Roman Grüter of the Zurich University of Applied Sciences has suggested that communities must learn to adapt their farming methods in response to the altering climatic conditions[3].

With the future of coffee uncertain, will our reliance upon caffeine decline; or will we, like those who grow this ever-popular crop adapt to new varieties, tastes, and flavours? Time will only tell.

Edited by Liam Butler
Copy-edited by Claire Thomson

[1] https://britishcoffeeassociation.org

[2] https://www.e-importz.com/coffee-statistics.php

[3] https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0261976


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