COFFEE NEWS ROUNDUP: WEEK ENDING AUGUST 31ST

Two hands cradle a latte on top of a newspaper

Hello and welcome to another Coffee News Roundup, the only* weekly coffee news summary that brings you news of high-level multinational mergers and whatever stupid idea some weirdo thinks will change coffee forever, in the same article (sometimes it's the same sentence).

Anyway, let's get started shall we?

*there are actually lots of these, it turns out

Coca-Cola is buying Costa Coffee for $5 billion - via CNN Money

Not content with sitting on the sidelines, watching Nestlé and JAB Holdings fight it out to buy every available coffee company in sight, Coca-Cola has decided to jump into the ring, pick up a folding chair, and join in. 

A Costa-branded coffee cup sits on a table

This deal sort of feels like they didn't even really try—just walked outside onto a UK high street, looked around and thought, "Oh yeah, Costa."

The official reason given is Costa's already global reach, with Coca-Cola saying the move gives them "a strong coffee platform across parts of Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, with the opportunity for additional expansion."

But who are we kidding, they're just bored and want to be a part of the slow, inevitable corporatization of every aspect of the coffee industry, and then the world.

Read the full story here.

Caffeine hit: South Korea bans coffee from every school - via The Guardian

You know who probably shouldn't be drinking coffee? Children. And South Korea agrees, announcing a ban on coffee in every school—for teachers too.

The move is an attempt to encourage healthier habits among students in a notoriously competitive and stressful education system. The country has already restricted energy drinks, after media reports of some students suffering heart palpitations and other health issues.

You have to feel for the teachers, though—what did they do to deserve this?

Read the full story here.

The Guys Who Designed YouTube Just Redesigned the Coffee Break - via Inc

No, no they didn't. 

Seriously, they just listed fairly common coffee-drinking knowledge, like that you should wait to drink your first cup of coffee in the morning and that coffee naps are a good idea

Good work there. Real revolutionary.

Read the full story here.

One Coffee? Your Total Is Some Personal Data - via NY Magazine

A coffee company with locations across Japan and India (well, universities in those countries) has opened up near the Princeton campus in New Jersey, offering students free drinks in exchange for their data.

A latte and a Macbook sit on a wooden table

The entirely cashless Shiru Café is only welcoming to students (who have to sign up online before visiting) and faculty (who have to pay $1 for their drinks, the rich bastards), while everyone else is invited to kindly go away. Seriously, if you're just a regular person they will ask you to leave. 

Basically, the business model of the company is to harvest data and sell it on, as well as partnering with corporations interested in recruiting students. Not content with Princeton, Shiru Café is planning several more stores near Amherst, Princeton, and Harvard.

The whole thing is rather creepy, something the writer of the article acknowledges and then swiftly brushes off. Some students have criticized the concept as exclusionary and an invasion of privacy, but the author claims that, since these young people have grown up being monitored and tracked and data-mined, they should be used to it. 

And in the end, he writes, "if truly opting out isn’t really an option, why not get a free drink?" 

That's the spirit.

Read the full story here. It's genuinely weird.

Is coffee good for you?

After the state of California seemingly came to its senses a few weeks ago about cancer warnings on coffee, it seemed like the matter was settled. But of course, lawyers gonna lawy. So now the Food and Drug Administration has entered the fray, with the commissioner releasing a statement saying that "if a state law purports to require food labeling to include a false or misleading statement, the FDA may decide to step in."

Forcing companies to put a cancer warning label on their coffee could, the commissioner said, "mislead consumers to believe that drinking coffee could be dangerous to their health when it actually could provide health benefits."

Boom. Mic drop from the FDA. 

Two people lean on a counter, one reads a magazine