COFFEE NEWS ROUNDUP: WEEK ENDING OCTOBER 12TH

A macchiato sits atop a newspaper on a table

As another week shuffles towards its end, and fall seems to finally be upon us (here in Michigan, anyway), it’s time once more to take a look back at the coffee news that filtered in over the past seven days.

And once again, there’s not much.

Never mind though, you can always rely on the coffee industry for a steady stream of pointless and/or nonsense news—so let’s quickly look at the two serious stories, and then we can get to the silly.

New Insurance Program for Colombian Farmers Responds to Climate Change - via Daily Coffee News

Climate change is happening. No matter what you may think, it doesn’t change the facts. It’s happening, it’s going to be bad, and if we don’t do something to stop it, like right now, it’s going to get even worse.

Coffee producers are going to be hit worse than most (some already are), due to the fragile nature of the coffee plant and the location of many of the farms. While scientists try to breed new, sturdier varieties, farmers are already losing harvests to floods, droughts, and disease.

A new, weather-related program from startup insurance provider Blue Marble Microinsurance and (whisper it) Nespresso seeks to help farmers cope with the complexity and unpredictability of climate change. Basically, the new type of insurance looks at micro regions and measures rainfall (or lack of it) over certain periods of time—if the region gets more (or less) rainfall than expected, the farmers get a payout.

The pilot program is taking place in Colombia involving some 2,000 farmers, although the story doesn’t state what sort of investment or support Nespresso or the other corporate backers are actually providing (yay greenwashing).

Read the full story here.

Starbucks Announces Care@Work, A Subsidized Backup Care Program - via Sprudge

A Starbucks sign hangs in the foreground, with a city street scene behind

Look, Starbucks is trying.

They really are. They offer (relatively to the industry, anyway) good benefits for their employees, including a comprehensive trans healthcare package, tuition support, and paid parental leave.

Now add to that list a subsidized backup care program, available to all direct employees in the US—over 180,000 people, according to Sprudge. The program consists of 10 days of last-minute child and adult care, subsidized by Starbucks at $1 per hour, as well as senior care planning resources.

This program is a response, no doubt, to the difficulties many people have in juggling the complexities of caring for a family member with a job that has, shall we say, problematic hours.

Say what you will about Starbucks (and this news roundup has said a lot) but at least they’re doing something.

Read the full story here.

10 easy ways to add protein to your coffee - via Insider

What? Why. Why would you need to add protein to your coffee.

What is wrong with you.

This article wants you to put an egg in your coffee. Don’t do that.

It also suggest whey protein, mushrooms, and algae. Put those down.

Collagen powder? I don’t even know what that is. Get it away from my coffee, you monster.

Heavy cream? Well, go on then.

Read the full story here.

Research Shows Your Company Should Consider Swapping Coffee Breaks for Dance Breaks - via Inc

No it absolutely should not.

My life is uncomfortable and embarrassing enough as it is, and in no way would forced dancing at work make it better.

Plus it would also make me spill my coffee.

Health benefits be damned—can’t I get one of those mini bicycle things that go under your desk? Those are cool.

Read the full story here.

Tom Petty’s Quest For The Perfect Cup of Coffee - via Civilized

OK this is genuinely heartwarming.

Two hands holding two cups of coffee, seen from above

Tom Petty, it turns out, was a huge fan of coffee—even if his taste might leave a little to be desired.

According to his biographer, Petty became obsessed with finding the perfect cup of coffee after drinking a cup of Maxwell House at a roadside diner. He even bought one of those diner-style Bunn automatic brewers with the glass carafes to try and replicate it at home.

We’re not told if he ever succeeded in his mission because, according to his biographer, "that coffee, I came to believe, was his Rosebud.”

Read the full story here.

Is coffee good for you?

Well, this week it’s sort of both. On the one hand, it might improve male fertility, which is good (assuming that’s what you’re going for).

Apparently, men who drink two cups of coffee per day can double their chances of becoming a father, although this goes against previous research which found… the exact opposite. Science is fun!

On the negative side of things, drinking black coffee means you’re a psychopath. Hey, don’t shoot the messenger (please).

A study from the University of Innsbruck in Austria found that enjoying bitter flavors correlates with psychopathic personality traits.

Although, bitter? Really? I think what this study shows is that people who like bad coffee are more likely to be psychopaths.

An old man reading a newspaper on a park bench