COFFEE NEWS ROUNDUP: WEEK ENDING SEPTEMBER 21ST

An espresso cup sits atop a newspaper, seen from above.

Another week, another Coffee News Roundup. And, once again, there isn’t a lot in the way of news. At least, nothing we haven’t already discussed before.

When compiling this little roundup, most of my time is spent sifting out the stories that we covered when they were actually new, but have now filtered down to the local news or trashy website level—they usually involve a fad, they may or may not be Starbucks-related, and they’re always reported as though it’s desperately important breaking news. It never is.

So here we are again, with a small selection of interesting and/or relevant articles to look at. Enjoy!

Slave labor found at Starbucks-certified Brazil coffee plantation - via Mongabay

This one isn’t actually “new”, in that this kind of thing has been going on for years. In fact, in August the Washington Post ran a story about this very subject. In 2016 the Guardian reported that Nestlé and others had admitted to using slave labor on coffee plantations, also in Brazil.

What’s new is that Starbucks has been implicated, which is rather contrary to their image of the “good” corporation that they have been cultivating for a while now (not always successfully).

It must be said that the link to Starbucks is quite tenuous, in that the company’s certification partner had apparently decided that the farm in question was fine when it obviously wasn’t. And according to Starbucks, they hadn’t bought coffee from that particular farm in years.

But this is clearly a problem across Brazil, the world’s largest coffee exporter, and the fact that Starbucks is slapping its certification on farms with little oversight is a worrying sign. Add to that the huge fall in the price of coffee, and the incentive to pay people a living wage is even more at risk than usual.

Read the full story here.

Our Daily Cup Of Coffee Is Contaminating The Groundwater - via Forbes

That’s right. We’re drinking so much coffee that it’s actually polluting the groundwater beneath us.

An arm spilling coffee onto the ground from a white cup

Granted, the highest concentration measured in the study was around 10 micrograms (0.01 milligrams), so it’s unlikely to be toxic to humans (an espresso contains roughly 80 milligrams of caffeine). However it could be toxic to birds and animals, and at the rate we drink coffee the concentration is only going to increase.

Just one more thing to worry about.

Read the full story here.

Would you pay $16 for a coffee? - via The Mercury

Yes.

Coffee is too cheap, as we’ve talked about before. Treating it like wine and charging more for it is one way to solve this problem.

The article is suspicious of the concept, and the the headline is rhetorical and extremely loaded, but the answer is still yes. Next question.

Read the full story here.

Krispy Kreme creating Coffee Glazed doughnuts for Coffee Day - via WNCT9

It’s that time of year again.

National Coffee Day is upon us (September 29th, if you’re interested) and big coffee brands are coming out with their yearly gimmick to get us to patronize their brightly colored and faintly sad stores.

A pile of donuts in a display case

You mostly see these stories on local news sites, which is why WNCT9 was chosen as link for this article. What is WNCT9, you ask? Where is it based? It doesn’t matter, I could have chosen any one of dozens of local news stations with names like KLNYC or WYNC7 or whatever.

The point is, Krispy Kreme has decided to sell a doughnut that tastes like coffee and a coffee that tastes like doughnuts. That’s it. That’s the joke.

Will I be buying either of these items? No. Have they succeeded in getting me to write about their gimmick and spread the word to you? Yes. Mission accomplished.

Good work, Krispy Kreme.

Read the full story here (or don’t, there’s nothing more to it).

Is coffee good for you?

Well, you can bathe in it. Bathing is healthy.

Yes, there’s a spa in Japan where you can take a bath in coffee. Actual coffee, brewed Nel Drip-style according to Sprudge, and apparently the whole thing will have “recharging, relaxing, skin beautifying effects.” So that’s good.

In other news, the headline for this story reads “How coffee, chocolate, and red wine may reduce your chances of dying early.” And of course it’s another local news station, and of course it’s a lot more complicated than that, but what a headline. Just marvel at it: coffee, chocolate, and wine? I’m off out to the shops right now.

Two people lean against a coffee bar, one flips through a magazine
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