An espresso sits on a table next to a newspaper

Just a quick roundup this week, partly because there’s not much in the way of news, and partly because yesterday I arrived in Scotland and the jet lag is making it hard to concentrate. I slept 13 hours last night.

It’s all a bit wrong.

I’ll be here for two weeks, so hopefully by next Friday I’ve recovered enough to write a proper roundup.

Until then, here we are.

The rise of robots might make coffee obsolete - via Insider

Did you know that people only drink coffee because it contains caffeine?

According to a report by RBC Capital Markets, whatever that is, by 2025 $2 trillion in annual US wages could be lost to or changed forever by automation. But this won’t mean robot baristas—instead, the decline in jobs that involve “grunt work” (their term) means a decline in demand for the caffeinated beverages that fuel said work.

A robot hand reaches out

There’s no way that we drink coffee because it’s tasty, right? Yuck. It’s just the caffeine boost to get us through another monotonous day of drudgery.

Instead, the demand will be for cannabidiol-infused drinks and products, because the robot armies will stress people out so much they’ll need help relaxing. This is actually their argument: “We could foresee a scenario where CBD and other relaxing agents become MORE popular than caffeine/stimulants as consumers continue to feel the stress/anxiety of technology-related stimuli (work, social media, etc)."

The future is going to be weird.

Read the full story here.

The SCA Announces New Coffee Price Crisis Response Initiative - via Sprudge

After the international coffee C price fell to record lows earlier this year, there was plenty of discussion about how to respond.

One recent response has been from the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA), which this week released its plans for a Coffee Price Crisis Response Initiative, led by the association’s outgoing Executive Director, Ric Rhinehart.

Sacks of green coffee piled on a pallet awaiting export.

According to the SCA, the “price threshold for profitability” for farmers is $2.50 per pound. Currently, the C price sits at $0.98. That isn’t good.

The SCA plans to allocate resources to, among other things, “Convene experts from the private sector and academia to explore alternative price discovery tools for the specialty coffee industry” and “Outline alternative economic models for the specialty coffee trade”.

Something needs to be done, and specialty coffee’s main governing body putting resources towards finding a solution can only help.

Read the full story here.

Starbucks to Offer Coffee Delivery Across U.S. - via Wall Street Journal

Yeah but why.

Read the full story here.

Is coffee good for you?

This week it is—a new study says that coffee can help in the fight against brain diseases such as Parkinson’s and Lewy body dementia.

A combination of caffeine and a newly discovered compound called Eicosanoyl-5-hydroxytryptamide (EHT) was studied by scientists from Rutgers, and shown to boost “the activity of a catalyst that helps prevent the accumulation of harmful proteins in the brain”, according to Science Daily.

Further research is needed to determine the proper ratios for each compound to be given in, but the article goes on to say that the research “suggests the combination of EHT and caffeine may be able to slow or stop the progression of these diseases.”

More good news on the coffee front then. In your face, ridiculous California Proposition 65 ruling.

A man sits on a park bench reading a newspaper

What to read

The Hidden Struggle To Save The Coffee Industry From Disaster by Elizabeth G. Dunn

Resolutions For Myself And For The Coffee Sustainability Sector by Jan von Enden

World War I Centennial: How The War Moved Coffee Around The Globe by Matt Foster

Until next week, drink good coffee. I’m going to go take a nap now.

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