In the past weeks I stumbled upon a series of articles in the news that quite frankly were the harbingers of doom. Modern civilization is coming to an end in this century.
The Mayas missed the date, but it seems that in the later half of this century, civilization will come to a halt. At least in the way we know it today.
The articles all talk about climate change and how around 2080 wild arabica could be extinct. This does not mean that coffee per se will disappear, but it will be more difficult to keep up production of this variety of coffee.
Coffee production will not come to a halt, but we could be in for a change in the variety of coffee used in our blends. Reuters reported in an article called Analysis: Coffee roasters stick with less costly robusta that roasters are using more robusta in their blends due to cost and the possibility to maintain market share . Consumers have switched to non-premium blends of coffee that contain a higher content of lower quality robusta.
The more resistant variety of coffee known as Robusta or Coffea canephora gives your coffee more bitterness, more caffeine and an unpleasant rubbery taste. The best espresso roasts use primarily Arabica beans, which originated in Ethiopia, but have spread around the world. In some blends Robusta beans are typically included in the blend because of their ability to generate crema. High quality Italian espresso blends such as Illy use no robusta at all.
Robusta has on average half the flavour and aromatic oils compared to Arabica. These oils attack the foam and make it disappear. Less oil in your brew equals more foam – crema. But at a cost. Less oil equals less aroma, flavor and overall quality of your espresso.
So let us reduce, reuse and recycle so as to limit our carbon footprint, lest we leave behind a world of low quality/high price coffee to those that come after us.
Here is the link to the article from PLOS ONE.
See you next time.
- Why the Maya Fell: Climate Change, Conflict – And a Trip to the Beach? (news.nationalgeographic.com)
- A jolt for coffee lovers: Arabica beans doomed to extinction? (ctvnews.ca)
- Caffè assolto: non favorisce malattie il guaio è che rischia l’estinzione (repubblica.it)
- Climate change threatens coffee crops(guardian.co.uk)
- Is our daily cup of coffee under threat?(kew.org)
- Repent! The End Of Cheap Coffee Is Nigh! (forbes.com)
- Robusta Economy (nytimes.com)