Coffee News Roundup: Week Ending May 21st

A white coffee cup with latte art and spoon sits atop a newspaper. Via Pixabay.

A white coffee cup with latte art and spoon sits atop a newspaper. Via Pixabay.

Hello and welcome to the weekend, and another Coffee News Roundup. Let’s take a look at what’s been going on, shall we?

Much like old enemies Pacino and DeNiro teaming up for one last heist in Heat (that’s what that movie’s about, right?), the National Coffee Association and the Specialty Coffee Association have joined forces to release the National Coffee Data Trends: Specialty Coffee Breakout Report looking at consumption trends within the specialty coffee market.

Here are some main takeaways:

  • 36% of respondents reported drinking specifically specialty coffee within the past day, compared to 58% who reported drinking “at least one cup of coffee”. This represents a downward trend, with the number falling from 41% in 2017-18 to 39% in 2020 and now 36%.
  • 73% of specialty coffee drinkers reported missing their regular coffee shops, which SCA CEO  Yannis Apostolopoulos said “shows how important local coffee businesses are to our daily lives in many places”.
  • This one is my favorite: 39% of specialty coffee drinkers said that they had attempted to replicate their usual “out-of-home” coffee order, but reported that its “not the same”. Just picturing a bunch of people in their kitchens trying to recreate a latte using a whisk, making an enormous mess, and becoming increasingly exasperated.

As Daily Coffee News notes, the definition of “specialty” is quite vague, with the report saying that it is “any espresso-based beverage (lattes, cappuccinos etc.), non-espresso-based beverage (frozen blend, cold brew, nitro) and traditional coffee that consumers perceive to be brewed from premium coffee beans/grounds.”

Read the full story here.

As Brazil Runs Out Of Water, World Could Lose Out On Coffee - via Al Jazeera

Get ready for more of these sorts of articles in the future: Brazil, the world’s biggest coffee exporter, “just had a rainy season that brought hardly any rain.”

Now, as the country heads into the dry season, many producers are worried that they’ll run out of water to irrigate their trees. Although only 15% of Brazil’s arabica coffee crop is irrigated, it’s still concerning when the report states that “rainfall was disastrously low for many areas in Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais from January to April”, which “came on top of adverse drier-than-normal conditions in some parts last year”.

Drought conditions have also been reported by Jonas Ferraresso, coffee agronomist (and friend of the Pourover) who has posted photos of wilted trees from his travels among Brazil’s coffee farms.

The drought, combined with an ongoing container shortage and drops in production elsewhere, is continuing to push coffee prices higher.

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

EPA Grants Emergency Exemption For Coffee Leaf Rust Fungicide In Hawaii

Guatemala's Coffee Exports To Fall Up To 3% This Season

In Colombia, A Successful Jaguar Conservation Program Has A Whiff Of Coffee

The Week In Corporate Coffeewashing

Kirin Holdings, the Japanese conglomerate that produces canned coffee products (among other things) and had revenue of $17 billion in 2019 is “stepping up support for coffee growers in Vietnam” according to a fun article in Nikkei Asia. Good for them! I’m sure they’re doing it out of the goodness of their—[holds finger to ear] ah I’m getting reports I should quote the next half of that sentence: “as it looks to cash in on growing consumer demand for sustainable products.”


Also this week, Oatly has launched a sustainability grant aimed at coffee companies and their workers to “pursue strategies, projects and innovative ideas, then share their learnings to build a more sustainable future for the industry.”

Oatly, of course, is part-owned by the Blackstone Group, which has invested in companies linked to deforestation in the Brazilian rainforest, as well as China Resources, a state-owned conglomerate that operates cement factories and coal-burning power plants.

Is Coffee Good For You?

If you’re in your 40s and you drink more than three cups of coffee per day—congratulations! You’re going to live longer. That’s what Korean researchers discovered after studying 100,000 people over the course of nearly a decade: “death risks from all causes dropped by 21 percent for participants who drank more than three cups of coffee a day.”

The study, by researchers from Chung-Ang University and the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency and published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, also found that drinking one cup per day was linked with a 42% reduction in death from heart related illnesses.

As always, what constitutes “a cup” is not stated, but this is still worth adding to the “coffee is good for you” column in the spreadsheet that I’m sure you’re all working on based on this section of the Roundup.

What To Read

The Big World Of Tiny Cafe Miniatures by Jenn Chen

All Encompassing Coffee: Something For Everyone by Robyn Hunt

Until next week, drink good coffee.

You Might Also Like                                  

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

          Mar 17, 2023                                ‘No Billionaires Were Enriched Through The Sale Of This Coffee’: An Interview With Author John Green        Mar 17, 2023                       Mar 17, 2023                                

          Oct 7, 2020                                Dear Green's Lisa Lawson on the revamped 2020 Glasgow Coffee Festival        Oct 7, 2020                       Oct 7, 2020                                

          Jul 8, 2020                                What's it like to work at Starbucks during a pandemic? Five baristas share their stories        Jul 8, 2020                       Jul 8, 2020                                

          Jun 18, 2019                                Interview: Jonas Leme Ferraresso, Coffee Agronomist        Jun 18, 2019                       Jun 18, 2019                                

          Jul 3, 2018                                INTERVIEW: CATHERINE FRANKS, OWNER OF STEAMPUNK COFFEE - PART 2        Jul 3, 2018                       Jul 3, 2018                                

          Jun 26, 2018                                INTERVIEW: CATHERINE FRANKS, OWNER OF STEAMPUNK COFFEE - PART 1        Jun 26, 2018                       Jun 26, 2018                                


          Feb 5, 2018                                INTERVIEW: BROOKE MCDONNELL, CO-FOUNDER OF EQUATOR COFFEES & TEAS        Feb 5, 2018                       Feb 5, 2018