COFFEE NEWS ROUNDUP: WEEK ENDING NOVEMBER 16TH

A hand holds a latte resting on a newspaper on a table.

Hello and welcome to another weekly Coffee News Roundup, and another week where very little happened. Nobody was bought out, nobody launched a new pineapple-flavored rainbow coffee-like hot drink, nobody called the cops on two people for simply existing in a cafe.

So let us look at the little that did occur, and then we can both go on with our days—those leaves aren’t going to rake themselves.

The Tare Shop is Resetting Waste to Zero in Nova Scotia - via Daily Coffee News

These sorts of stories are popping up all over now—minimal or zero waste cafes, coffee shops and businesses that are seeing the state of our supercharged, consumerist society and are trying to do something about it.

The Tare Shop is run by an environmental scientist in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and features almost completely second hand equipment (almost—turns out it’s quite hard to source a used coffee grinder in Nova Scotia). As well as coffee and dry goods, the Tare Shop is utilized as a community and learning space, encouraging people to make positive choices about how much waste they are responsible for.

A barista pours latte art into a cup.

There are a range of coffee shops and cafes making similar, albeit slightly less drastic changes to address their waste. Higher Grounds Trading Company in Traverse City, Michigan, has a coffee cup library program, where if you forget your reusable cup you can borrow one of theirs, return it or keep it. Boulder, Colorado, is launching something comparable, a city-wide “bikeshare for coffee cups” in an attempt to cut down on the number of disposable cups going to landfill.

Are these small things? Yes. Will they change the world? Not immediately, but they raise awareness, and give people a mirror to themselves and their lifestyles.

It’s incredibly hard to be zero waste when literally everything is encased in plastic (I’m looking at you, three peppers in the grocery store), so having these businesses makes things a little easier.

And honestly, with the crushing inaction currently being shown by our political leaders, who shrug off the impending climate catastrophe as though it were trivial (or completely nonexistent), us regular folk will come to rely on these community-oriented, grassroots programs to help us change our ways.

Read the full story here.

These $400 Vegan Shoes Are Made Of Coffee - via Sprudge

They’re already sold out, but I want a pair. I want a pair bad.

Good quality vegan shoes are hard to find, trust me. Good quality vegan shoes made from coffee? It’s like they were doing research into the smallest possible niche shoe market, and they found me. It’s me—I’m the market.

Probably why they’re so expensive.

The downside to their business model? I can’t afford them.

Try again, fancy shoe company.

Read the full story here.

Coffee or tea? The answer might be in your genes - via The Guardian

That’s right, tea-drinkers—there’s a reason you can’t handle the delicious bitterness of coffee. It’s in your genes.

Apparently, hot drink preference is a thing scientists care about.

It has to be more important than that, though. Maybe this genetic predisposition to one hot drink or the other gives a searing insight into evolution, or disease, or the meaning of life.

Or maybe not.

According to Dr Marilyn Cornelis, co-author of the research from Northwestern University in Illinois: “The study adds to our understanding of factors determining beverage preferences – taste, in particular – and why, holding all other factors constant, we still see marked between-person differences in beverage preference as well as the amount we consume.”

Cool.

Read the full story here.

Everything Seemed Normal with This Starbucks Holiday Menu Until the Snowy Cheese - via Daily Coffee News

You know I said in the intro that there weren’t any companies introducing ridiculous new beverages this week?

I lied.

Because of course Starbucks has a holiday drink menu, and of course it’s preposterous.

A Starbucks mug sits on a windowsill

There’s a whole mess of drinks here, from the relatively normal—peppermint mocha and eggnog lattes in the US and Europe—to the slightly different-but-probably-fine—for instance, Japan has a strawberry Christmas cake-inspired concoction.

Then there’s the nauseating—the toasted white chocolate mocha just sounds bad, and what the heck is caramelized white chocolate?

And then, then there’s the cheese latte in China. Baked cheese, to be precise.

According to the press release fluff, the Snowy Cheese Flavored Latte is “a dreamy new holiday beverage made with baked cheese flavored sauce blended into classic espresso and topped with light whipped cream, blueberry flavored sprinkles and star-shaped crisps.”

Which, sure? Sounds a bit like they’re running out of ideas, but you do you, Starbucks.

Wait, are cheese-flavored drinks a thing in China?

(Update: they are.)

Read the full story here.

Is coffee good for you?

Differing opinions this week. The New York Times says excess coffee can stress the heart, and cause anxiety and other issues. This article is more of a run down of all the potential problems caffeine can cause, rather than listing new research, but is still an interesting read.

But then there’s a new study that claims drinking lots of coffee decreases your chances of developing type 2 diabetes. The heaviest coffee drinkers had a 29% lower risk of developing the condition, which is not nothing.

So who knows, basically.

A person reads a newspaper while sitting on a bench with a paper coffee cup on a table beside them