COFFEE NEWS ROUNDUP: WEEK ENDING FEBRUARY 15TH

A coffee cup with latte art sits atop a newspaper

Hello and welcome to a rather slow week for coffee news.

At least, the stories that make this Roundup tick. While there are stories, the week was sadly lacking in wacky missives about using volcanoes to roast coffee or the latest drink trend (coffee brewed using hot pineapple water? A French press made of chocolate?)

That being said, there’s always something happening, so we may as well take a look.

Africa's Top Coffee Producer May Triple Output in Five Years - via Bloomberg

After making changes to the way its coffee market operates over the past couple of years, Ethiopia is introducing new production and marketing reforms in a bid to triple the country’s output in the next five years.

Production strategies include replacing and pruning old coffee trees to simulate growth, but it is the marketing reforms that could make all the difference. According to Bloomberg, these will enable farmers to skip some parts of Ethiopia’s notoriously convoluted supply chain and export directly, allowing them to receive more of the profit for their harvest.

Coffee is Ethiopia’s main export, bringing in $866 million in 2017. These new strategies hope to take production from 600,000 tons to 1.8 million tons by 2024, which will hopefully mean a lot more income for farmers, and less incentive to switch to avocados like is happening in Kenya and Tanzania.

Read the full story here.

Germany's JAB to list coffee and restaurant empire - via Nasdaq

Soon you’ll be able to own shares in everyone’s favorite secretive coffee conglomerate.

A pair of hands uses a laptop with stock price information while holding a coffee.

That’s right, JAB Holdings, owners of Keurig, Peet’s, Intelligentsia, Stumptown, and, er, Kenco, is planning to list its coffee and restaurant divisions on the ol’ stock exchange.

What does this mean? Well, money. Lots of money.

According to the report, going public could bring in billions to be used in additional acquisitions, setting up an even more intense battle with Starbucks and (ugh) Nestlé.

Read the full story here.

Oh, and speaking of those two…

Nestle set to sell first Starbucks coffee under $7.15 billion deal - via Reuters

It’s finally happening. The deal between the two definitely-not-frightened-of-JAB companies to combine their megalomaniacal talents to sell more coffee to confused grocery store shoppers is launching.

The idea, as best it can be understood, is that Nestlé gave Starbucks $7 billion (billion) to let them put the mermaid logo on their capsule coffee whatsits in order to hawk more of them. Apparently Nespresso isn’t attractive enough, so they’re trying to trick people into buying their mediocre coffee by pretending it’s slightly less mediocre.

Seven. Billion. Dollars.

Read the full story here.

Schultz’s 2020 Foray Risks Blowback to Starbucks in Blue America - via Bloomberg

Oh look Starbucks again.

Since Howard Schultz started hinting at a run for president, the backlash against him on social media has been severe to say the least.

A Starbucks sign hangs above a shop

The idea of a billionaire corporate centrist running as an independent is anathema to many, especially as he could potentially split the Democratic vote, and Schultz’s proclamations since his announcement have not exactly reassured people.

Starbucks has even had to issue talking points for its poor baristas to diffuse any political talk over the espresso machine.

And now, according to Bloomberg, it could get worse for the coffee behemoth. Talk of a boycott is spreading, leading some investors to bet against the company due to Schultz’s potential candidacy.

It’s worth repeating once again (because it’s funny) the fact that Schultz is incredibly unpopular with both sides, and even with independents.

Read the full story here.

Coffee Roaster Reports Confusion Over Shared Name With CBD - via US News

This is national news.

How is this national news.

Read the full story here.

Is coffee good for you?

Well, it can make you more generous—and generosity has definite psychological benefits, probably. That checks out.

Anyway, a study by Yale researchers has found that people holding hot drinks are more likely to give something to others than those holding cold beverages.

Why would anyone study this, you ask? That is a good question. Maybe researchers at Yale don’t have anything better to do. Or maybe they’re just messing with everyone, to see what nonsensical research we’ll report and discuss.

Hang on, are we the experiment?

A man sits on a bench reading a newspaper
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