COFFEE NEWS ROUNDUP: WEEK ENDING MAY 11TH

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A quick roundup for you this time, as I'm heading up north to Traverse City for a weekend of lighthouses, lakes and lattes. You know, the three L's.

Let's get to it, shall we?

Nestle pays $7.2 billion to sell coffee with Starbucks brand - via Chicago Tribune

It seems as though Starbucks' transformation from widely-ridiculed-but-grudgingly-respected coffee behemoth into straight up supervillain is getting closer. First, a manager at one of their stores calls the police on two black men for having the nerve to wait for a colleague before ordering, and now the company has done a deal with Nestlé to... well, who cares. It doesn't matter. It's Nestlé. 

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Nestlé has, shall we say, an iffy track record with ethics. From the infant formula scandal in the 70s (which is still ongoing, by the way) to its bottled water sourcing practices and accusations of child slavery, it might as well be run by Emperor Palpatine

The gist of this latest move is that, due to flagging sales of its Nespresso and Nescafe line in the US, as well as competition from friend of this column JAB Holdings, Nestlé is giving Starbucks a bunch of money to slap the famous mermaid logo all over Nestlé's coffee in a bid to trick people into buying it. Or something. Again, it doesn't matter. 

Read more here.

Judge affirms decision to put cancer warnings on coffee in California - via The Guardian

It's official: the terror of acrylamide in coffee must be resisted, and the first step is to warn consumers of the dreaded substance, found in higher doses in french fries, potato chips and toast. 

The ludicrousness of this ruling has been pointed out before, but this week the judge in the case finalized the decision, taking California one step closer to enormous cancer warning labels on their caramel frappuccino. 

Read more here.

Coffee faces a double threat to its existence in eastern Ethiopia - via Reuters

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The fact that coffee is under threat from climate change shouldn't surprise anyone. It's a naturally fragile crop, dependent on stable temperatures, predictable rainfall and, well, rain. 

Ethiopia (birthplace of coffee, remember) has been struggling with a prolonged drought for years, which has obviously affected the coffee harvest. To compensate, farmers are turning to growing khat, a leaf chewed for its narcotic qualities and hugely popular in parts of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. 

Khat also has two harvests per year, compared with just one for coffee, making it a more stable investment, as well as more lucrative.

Oh, and you can drink it.

Read more here

Is coffee good for you?

Maybe? That Guardian article up there might have you believing otherwise, what with the scaremongering labels and whatnot, but there's just so much research pointing the other way.

And now, to keep us all on our toes, some scientists are claiming that hot coffee cools you down better than cold coffee. An article in Sprudge (quoting an article in LADbible (?), quoting a Cambridge University scientist) says that drinking hot liquids warms your core, which leads to your body reacting and cooling itself. This is also backed up by an article in the Smithsonian Magazine back in 2012, which reached a similar conclusion. 

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