Coffee News Roundup: Week Ending February 5th

A woman holds a coffee cup with latte art resting on a newspaper. Via Pxfuel

This week’s Coffee News Roundup is brought to you by the wintry weather that has finally hit Southeast Michigan, making me even less inclined to leave the house than before.

Let’s take a look at the week’s news before the snow returns.

SCA Provides Update On 2021 World Of Coffee And World Coffee Championships - via Global Coffee Report

Basically it’s a big ol’ shrug from the Specialty Coffee Association in regards to the 2021 World Coffee Championship and related trade show.

The events are supposed to take place this June in Athens but, as with all gatherings of thousands of people, there’s much uncertainty about whether these events can or should go ahead when there’s still no sign of the pandemic abating worldwide.

Yannis Apostolopoulos, CEO of the SCA, promised in an open letter to members that a firm decision would be communicated by February 26.

Read the full story here.

Italians Flock Back To Coffee Bars As COVID-19 Restrictions Eased - via Reuters

As restrictions are lifted across much of Italy, coffee shops are able to provide table service once more, dispensing with the takeaway cups that they had been making use of previously. And it’s fair to say that people are quite happy.

“We felt dead without bars,” a Rome resident tells Reuters. “It is beautiful to come here and talk to the people behind the bar; they make us feel alive every morning before going to work.”

Not everyone is so keen on the restrictions being lifted, with the technical committee advising the health ministry saying in a different Reuters article that, “The epidemic remains in a delicate phase and a new rapid increase in the number of cases is possible in the coming weeks.”

Read the full story here.

Fungus That Eats Fungus Could Help Coffee Farmers - via Science Daily

Coffee leaf rust is a huge problem in producing countries, attacking leaves, devastating harvests, and causing 2 million farmers to leave their land between 2012 and 2017 alone.

Since its first identification 150 years ago, there has been no real “cure” for the disease, only a few fungicides and sometimes literally moving farms uphill.

Now, however, a Swedish study in Ethiopia focusing on coffee leaf rust has found that a different fungus is apparently able to suppress the outbreak of the dreaded disease.

This “hyperparasite”, as the story calls it, grows on top of the fungus and suppresses its spread, especially in more humid conditions such as farms with shade trees.

“This could be a win-win situation,” said Kristoffer Hylander, one of the scientists involved in the research. “By increasing the tree cover in coffee plantations with native shade tree species that maintain their leaves during the dry season, we could perhaps benefit both biodiversity and the hyperparasite.”

More study is needed, the researchers stress, but they hope this research could lead to the development of alternative methods against the coffee leaf rust scourge: “There is a need to learn more about natural solutions instead of just applying pesticides,” Hylander said.

Read the full story here.

Chobani Will Give You $75,000 To Create Their New Coffee Creamer Flavor - via Sprudge

That’s right, yoghurt (and apparently creamer) company Chobani wants you to come up with their next flavor, and they’ll give you cash in return.

All you have to do is devise a flavor, then write a story about it and send it in by the end of February—but your concoction has to use only “natural ingredients including farm-fresh cream, real milk, and real cane sugar.”

If you make it to the final three, you’ll be pitted against each other in a public vote, and the winner will get $75k. Seems easy, right? Well, there are already endless numbers of odd and gimmicky creamer flavors out there, so good luck topping them.

Read the full story here.

Long shot of Colombian coffee farms with mountains in the distance.

Long shot of Colombian coffee farms with mountains in the distance.

More Headlines

Luckin Coffee Files Bankruptcy In U.S., Will Keep Shops Open

At Seattle’s The Station, You Can Order Up A Short Story With Your Latte

Is Coffee Good For You?

This week: yes, kind of, in the smallest way possible.

A new study found that “men who drink at least one coffee a day were 15% less likely to lose their hearing than those who don’t drink the beverage,” according to Metro.

The effects weren’t noticed in women, which the researchers think could be due to differences in physiology, and the effects were the same whether the coffee was caffeinated or not. The magic number of coffees, at least for this specific study, was between one and four cups per day.

However, “research team member Dr. Marcos Machado-Fragua stresses that individuals shouldn’t consume excessive amounts of coffee in a bid to prevent hearing loss – as this can lead to its own health problems.”

Don’t tell me what to do.

What To Read/Listen To

Coffee In The Philippines Part 1: A Look At The Islands’ Original Farms by Emily Joy Meneses

Episode 728: Coffee & Toast With Cheryl Day And Nick Cho by The Splendid Table (podcast)

Until next week, drink good coffee. Wear your mask (or two now, I guess?) and overtip your barista.

You Might Also Like                                  

          Nov 24, 2023                                Connecting the Dots: Inside the 2023 Coffee Barometer        Nov 24, 2023                       Nov 24, 2023                                

          Oct 21, 2023                                'Specialty Coffee Should be Enjoyed by Those Who Grow It': The Farmer's Daughter Joining Kenya's Coffee-drinking Revolution        Oct 21, 2023                       Oct 21, 2023                                

          Oct 6, 2023                                Stealth Starbucks: A Premonition of Modern Specialty Coffee        Oct 6, 2023                       Oct 6, 2023                                

          Sep 22, 2023                                Can the Coffee Change Fund Save Coffee?        Sep 22, 2023                       Sep 22, 2023                                

          Sep 8, 2023                                Upcycled Coffeewashing        Sep 8, 2023                       Sep 8, 2023                                

          Aug 25, 2023                                From A Concerned Farmer        Aug 25, 2023                       Aug 25, 2023                                

          Aug 11, 2023                                Philly is a (Coffee) Union Town        Aug 11, 2023                       Aug 11, 2023                                

          Jul 28, 2023                                South Korea's Coffee Wars        Jul 28, 2023                       Jul 28, 2023                                

          Jul 14, 2023                                Camp Coffee, Colonialism, and the Evolution of a Brand        Jul 14, 2023                       Jul 14, 2023                                

          Jun 30, 2023                                Defiance and Gay Frog Donuts: How Strange Matter Coffee is Navigating the Anti-LGBTQ+ Backlash        Jun 30, 2023                       Jun 30, 2023