Coffee News Roundup: Week Ending November 13th

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.

Welcome to another week’s end and therefore another roundup of the latest coffee news.

Not a huge amount of news again this week, but let’s look at what’s been happening.

Hurricane Eta Devastates Central American Coffeelands - via Sprudge

Like everything else this year, the 2020 hurricane season looks to be worse and more prolonged than anything that came before.

Multiple countries in Central America are recovering from the damage inflicted by Eta even as another potential hurricane, Iota, bears down on the region.

Eta cut a swathe of destruction throughout coffee-producing regions, with hundreds of dead and missing in Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Costa Rica as well as further north in Mexico.

Coffee production is, obviously, a huge part of these countries’ economies, and after being continuously buffeted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the impact of Eta could add yet another strain to this crucial industry.

Take Nicaragua: Lily Sevilla, president of the National Alliance of Nicaraguan Coffee Producers told the Associated Press that, although the coffee harvest hadn’t yet begun, the rain could impact the growth and development of the coffee cherries. Infrastructure was also hit, Sevilla said, with landslides potentially affecting the ability of producers to transport coffee for export.

Accuweather estimates “a 10% loss of Central American coffee, mainly because of roads being washed out and coffee not making it to the market.” This could increase when, as expected, Iota makes landfall in the coming days—potentially in exactly the same places just hit by Eta.

If you can afford to help, Daily Coffee News has put together a list of some of the organizations raising money to support coffee producers in the countries affected by Eta.

Read the full story here.

More Headlines

Coffee Leaf Rust Spreads To The Big Island Of Hawaii

Clive Coffee Acquires Coffee Subscription Seller Mistobox

Brazil International Coffee Week Is Online And Free Nov. 18-20

Three 2021 World Coffee Championships Scheduled For Taiwan

The Week in Corporate Coffeewashing

The life-cycle assessment (LCA): as one might surmise, it looks at the entire life-cycle of a product, from raw materials to manufacturing, shipping and consumption, in order to gauge its environmental impact.

Such assessments have been used to show that, in fact, disposable single-use cups are more environmentally-friendly than their reusable alternatives. Nespresso uses them as part of their pledge for carbon neutrality by 2022.

They are, obviously, quite popular with massive companies that want to show that their products are actually good for the planet. That single-use cup assessment up there, for example, was sponsored by a multi-billion-dollar food packaging manufacturer.

That’s why this article in GreenBiz is so interesting, because it looks at LCAs with a more skeptical eye. The author speaks with multiple stakeholders to try to ascertain the effect, positive and negative, of these studies.

Here’s a short excerpt:

“The idea behind LCAs is to act as a shared measuring stick to drive industry or policy toward sustainability. Yet rather than generate consensus, often they sow the seeds of discord. Loose methodological standards have resulted in studies plagued with inconsistencies. It’s not uncommon for two LCAs claiming the same objective to yield vastly different results. The result is public confusion, fierce debate and stalled progress on some of the most pressing environmental issues of our time, such as plastic pollution.”

Is Coffee Good For You?

No news on that this week, but here’s a fun study looking at the effect of ambient noise on coffee enjoyment.

Essentially, the researchers found that the quieter the environment, the more enjoyable the coffee and the closer attention the participants paid to things like flavor and aroma. The participants were also more likely to want to buy the coffee they tasted at lower sound levels.

The authors, according to Daily Coffee News, suggested their findings could have practical implications for coffee shops, who “may want to consider noise as a possible element to control during the customer experience.”

What I’m Drinking This Week

I spent the week finishing up the stellar Colombia La Claudina sent to me by Sam and Peter of Espy Coffee.

Oh, and speaking of Espy, you should read the article I wrote about them for Daily Coffee News.

What To Read

In SE Michigan, Espy Coffee Boasts Boxes Of Vacuum-Sealed Roasts by me!

Coffee And Tax: An Interview With Founder Tiani Wright by Jordan Michelman

The Truth About Pumpkin Spice by Liz Clayton

Until next week, drink good coffee. Wash your hands and please, wear a mask.

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