Coffee News Roundup: Week Ending January 8th

An espresso cup sits atop a magazine on a table, seen from above. Via PxHere

An espresso cup sits atop a magazine on a table, seen from above. Via PxHere

So 2021 has been a hell of a week.

With everything that happened over the past few days, maybe it’s good to take a couple of minutes to sit and read about how espresso can stop you from dying (not really, but sort of).

Italian Study Suggests Espresso Can Help Fend Off Death - via Daily Coffee News

Big news in the “is coffee good for you or not” debate—Italian researchers think it is! Especially if you drink espresso, because obviously.

And not only is it good for you, it can actually keep the grim reaper at bay. Good work, espresso.

The study, published in the Journal of Nutrition, analyzed data from over 20,000 participants and tracked their espresso intake (as well as other dietary information, but mostly the coffee) for eight years. Participants were a mix of ages and genders, and all were free from cardiovascular disease and cancer at the outset.

The outcome was that those who drank espresso on a daily basis had a reduction in all-cause mortality of between 15% and 28%, depending on the amount of coffee consumed (4+ espressos on the low end and 3-4 shots on the high).

Researchers aren’t exactly sure why, but they do point towards a hormone produced by the heart, the N-terminal pro B–type natriuretic peptide (NTproBNP), as a likely “mediator” of the “relationship between coffee intake and all-cause mortality.”

So there you have it: 3-4 espressos a day keeps the forbidding and inexorable specter of death at bay. Not quite as catchy as the one about apples and doctors, but more delicious.

Read the full story here.

More Headlines

Scientists And Industry Convene For A Remarkable Tasting Of Three Wild Coffee Species

Coffee Prices Rise In December

The Week In Corporate Coffeewashing

Several green business websites are giddy over that story from a few weeks ago about Starbucks, McDonald’s, and Nespresso pledging to cut 1.5 gigatons of CO2 emissions from their supply chains by 2050. Because of course they are.

But also, there was this article in The Conversation about a life-cycle assessment of coffee producing that also sparked a bunch of stories with headlines like “Your daily coffee has a big climate cost — here’s how to reduce it by 77%” and “The daily grind: How to cut carbon emissions from coffee by 77%”.

First off: remember life-cycle assessments? We discussed them back in November, and the takeaway was that they shouldn’t always be taken at face value, for reasons from methodological inconsistencies to outright corporate control.

The article itself, which looks at various methods of coffee production in Brazil and Vietnam—from conventional farming to more sustainable methods—and calculates the environmental cost, is interesting. For example: roasting coffee at origin cuts carbon emissions, because roasted coffee is lighter uses less energy to ship—this is cool!

It’s the “how to cut carbon emissions of your daily coffee by 77%” headlines that are more irritating. The solutions include things like “use cargo ships to transport coffee instead of airplanes” that are completely out of the consumer’s control. Or producer-focused steps like “use less fertilizer and manage water resources better” that, without incentives like higher prices, are just not realistic. Who pays for these improvements?

Obviously it’s a good idea for coffee growers to decarbonize and use more sustainable practices, but such is the level of control consuming countries and their giant corporations enjoy that it just doesn’t seem very plausible without more monetary support.

Is Coffee Good For You?

Yes! Remember earlier? The espresso?

What To Read

Innovations At Origin: The Young Coffee Entrepreneurs Of PROCAFE by Dan McQuillan

A Look Back At How 101 Coffee Shop Became Part Of Movie History by Jared Cowan

Haiti: A Story Of Revolution And Inspiration At Origin by David and Gaïna Dávila

Until next week, drink good coffee. Wear your mask. Tip your barista!

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