Coffee News Roundup: Week Ending January 22nd

A diner mug rests on a newspaper atop a wooden table.

A diner mug rests on a newspaper atop a wooden table.

Hello and welcome to another Coffee News Roundup, the original coffee-based Friday news roundup.

Let’s see what’s been happening this week, shall we?

Nestlé To Double Sustainability Spending At Nescafé Coffee Brand - via Bloomberg

We harp on Nestlé a lot here at the Pourover, mostly because they have an awful history of environmental and human rights abuses that continues right up to this day.

That being said, Nestlé is an enormous conglomerate, raking in billions upon billions each year from all over the world, and even huge corporations can tell which way the wind is blowing. People are concerned about the climate, and capitalism’s role in destroying it, and these companies need to adapt. Or at least, look like they are.

Enter Nestlé’s environmental pledges. Recently, Nespresso pledged carbon neutrality by 2022, and now it’s the turn of Nescafé, with Nestlé announcing this week a plan to invest “more than 700 million Swiss francs ($787 million) in the next decade” on various sustainability programs. As Bloomberg points out, that’s more than double its sustainability spending over the past ten years.

This new program will “[focus] on the three priorities of improving farmer incomes, cutting carbon emissions and moving to recyclable or reusable packaging,” according to Philipp Navratil, Nestlé Head of Beverages Strategic Business Units.

Among the investments will be a tracing program, third-party auditing and increased monitoring, “paying bigger premiums to growers who produce sustainable beans”, and cutting carbon emissions at the farming level. Without, of course, providing specifics.

In a press release, Nestlé announced that “by 2025, Nescafé expects to have 100% responsibly sourced coffee, tracing it back to an identified farmer group.”

As a Daily Coffee News article notes, it isn’t explained what “100% responsibly sourced coffee” means, and the exact amount of money to be invested hasn’t actually been announced either.

Like so many of these announcements, it’s all very vague.

Read the full story here.

Starbucks Joining Washington State In COVID Vaccination Administration - via Daily Coffee News

Starbucks, it’s fair to say, has a lot of cafes. Over 15,000 across the United States, with 757 in Washington State alone.

No wonder, then, that Washington Governor Jay Inslee has tapped the Seattle-based purveyor of sugary nonsense to help distribute the state’s COVID-19 vaccines.

(Also helping are Microsoft, Costco, and the National Guard, but they’re less coffee-related so we’ll ignore them.)

The goal, according to a post on the Governor’s Medium page (side note: why does the Governor have a Medium page?) is to vaccinate 45,000 people per day by utilizing Starbucks’ “operational efficiency, scalable modeling and human-centered design expertise and support.”

“You’ll notice that they’ve been pretty good at delivering coffee, good coffee, around the world,” Inslee told reporters. “They have logistical assistance, which is quite helpful. In fact, training other entities in how to run a high-throughput vaccination center.”

And of course, as Daily Coffee News notes, Starbucks also has a financial incentive in seeing people get vaccinated and back to normality as quickly as possible.

Read the full story here.

This Cereal Turns Your Milk Into Cold Brew Coffee, And It's . . . Interesting - via PopSugar

This actually sounds quite tasty—and a lot more considered than that Dunkin’ cereal announced last summer.

Dash, as this coffee cereal is named, is billed thusly: “Organic cocoa & micro-roasted coffee from Intelligentsia are paired with a base of organic oat, rice, and coconut flour for a lightly sweetened, plant-based treat.”

It sounds. . . simple, and according to PopSugar it’s not too sugary, which surely can’t also be said of that Dunkin’ cereal.

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

Not Spending Time At Coffee Shops Can Drain Our Collective Creativity

Israeli Startup Griin Coffee Developing Single-Dose Roaster For The Office (although, why?)

The Week In Corporate Coffeewashing

Well there’s that Nestlé story up there, and also this week: Löfbergs, the Scandinavian coffee group, has launched a coffee station “partially” made with coffee chaff as part of a wider sustainability drive that the company hopes will help eliminate all waste in its supply chain by 2030.

It’s 3D-printed and made from coffee chaff mixed with polyprolene—which, cool, use some of your waste products, but blended with plastic? Presumably making it impossible to recycle or biodegrade? Seems odd.

Is Coffee Good For You?

Apparently coffee can help improve brain function caused by lack of sleep.

Wait, this is news? I thought we all knew and accepted this quite obvious fact.

Okay, so apparently this is the first of its kind because it “culled results from ‘real world’ conditions of coffee drinkers during work days,” according to Daily Coffee News.

Basically, volunteers had their sleep limited for five nights and were given either caffeinated or decaf coffee and asked to rate their sleepiness while their cognitive functions were tested. Unsurprisingly to anyone who has ever tried coffee, those who consumed caffeine handled things better.

A sleep researcher who was involved in the work said that, “Our study indicates that moderate coffee intake can mitigate some repercussions of reduced sleep over a few days, however, this is not a substitute for a good night’s sleep in the long term.”

As Daily Coffee News notes, “There you have it: The entire body of anecdotal evidence of your adult life has been confirmed.”

What I’m Drinking This Week

Earlier this month I read a Twitter thread from Cxffeeblack about the history of Haitian coffee, and then that same week read an article in Fresh Cup about the very same thing. When I saw that Cxffeeblack was selling a limited amount of coffee imported from Haiti by a friend of theirs, I had to buy a bag.

So this week I’m trying the Haiti Baptiste Rose, and it is delicious. My first time trying coffee from Haiti, and I’m pretty much blown away. Can’t wait to continue playing around and trying it in other brew methods. Go support Cxffeeblack if you can! This particular coffee might be gone, but there’s lots more to explore.

What To Read

I Work In A Coffee Shop In Montana. Anti-Maskers Have Made My Job Hell. by Maggie Slepian

In Istanbul, The World’s Oldest Coffee Shop Culture Adapts To The Times by Michael Butterworth

Conversations On Racism And Resiliency With California Coffee Shop Owners Of Color by Cassandra Yany

Until next week, drink good coffee. Support good coffee roasters. Wear your mask.

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