Coffee News Roundup: Week Ending October 25th

Two hands hold a cup of coffee with latte art resting atop a newspaper

It’s that time of year again—leaves fall, pumpkins are carved or spice latte-d, more leaves fall, temperatures plummet, and yet more leaves fall.

Just so many leaves.

However, this time of year is also excellent for caffeine lovers, as the urge to warm up indoors with a hot cup of coffee becomes almost impossible to resist.

So brew another cup, settle in under a blanket, and have a read of the latest coffee news.

Brazil’s Largest Arabica Producer Has Run Out Of Coffee - via Sprudge

That, uh, that doesn’t sound great.

Aren’t we constantly told that the reason coffee prices are so low is because of an oversupply of green beans?

An empty warehouse.

Brazil’s largest producer of Arabica coffee, Cooxupe, expected to produce 5.7 million bags this year but so far only has 4.9 million.

That’s a pretty big difference.

Reasons given are anything from bad weather to farmers holding onto more of their crop because of the low prices.

Whatever the reason, it doesn’t bode well. As Cooxupe’s commercial director Lucio Dias told Bloomberg, “We don’t know where the world will get coffee in the next six months.”

Although it might also push prices up if the supply keeps going down, so maybe it’s good?

Read the full story here.

Nearly Four of Every Five US Coffee Shops are Now Starbucks, Dunkin’ or JAB Brands - via Daily Coffee News

Big yikes here.

According to Allegra, a market research and events company whose World Coffee Portal releases a yearly report on the state of the global coffee shop industry, 78% of all cafes in the United States are now Starbucks, Dunkin, or owned by JAB Holdings.

Another fun figure: over the past year, 80% of new coffee shop openings were by either Starbucks or Dunkin.

Yep, the coffee industry is doing fine.

Everything looks good.

Nothing to worry about here.

Read the full story here.

Starbucks Sued For Allegedly Ripping Off Dr. Oz's Family Over Coffee Flavored Lip Balm - via Yahoo!

Oh that Starbucks, always coming up with new ways to bully the little guy.

A Starbucks logo sign hangs from a building

The little guy here being a multimillionaire TV snake oil salesman and his family.

In short, the family of Dr. Oz—famed surgeon and pseudoscience-pushing television host—is unhappy that Starbucks is also selling coffee flavored lip balm. Apparently the giant Seattle-based corporation stole their completely unique and ingenious idea for *checks notes* coffee lip balm.

Apparently Dr. Oz tried to pitch the brilliant, singular idea for coffee in lip balm to Howard Schultz, who set up meetings but ended up passing.

And then—and then—Starbucks put out their own coffee flavored lip balm.

What are the odds?

Read the full story here.

Don’t Worry, There Are Acceptable Levels of Ground Up Cockroaches In Coffee Tins - via Sprudge

Yep, it turns out there’s an actual acceptable standard judged by the US Food and Drug Administration for insect contamination in coffee. And it’s 10 percent.

That is, according to Sprudge, “No more than 10% of the total coffee beans ‘by count are insect-infested or insect-damaged.’”

This mostly relates to the low quality beans that sit around for ages before being made into tinned or instant coffee, rather than the expensive stuff from your local artisan roastery.

But still, yikes.

Read the full story here.

The week in corporate greenwashing

Nespresso are once again hawking their Puerto Rico revitalization project, fronted by Lin Manuel Miranda and George Clooney. Which, fine. Good for them for putting money into a devastated economy and helping farmers.

So how much have Nespresso put in?

Well, according to Daily Coffee News:

Nespresso in 2018 pledged $1 million toward the Hispanic Federation efforts — which were boosted by the star power of HF board member Lin-Manuel Miranda and Nespresso brand ambassador George Clooney — to revitalize the Puerto Rican coffee sector. On Nespresso’s end, the PR program is part of its $9.8 million “Reviving Origins” program, which has also involved agricultural development and purchasing commitments in parts of Colombia and Zimbabwe.

One. Million. Dollars.

For comparison, Nestlé’s annual revenue from coffee is $17 billion.

But don’t worry, because if you’ve personally donated to the program then you can get first access to Nespresso’s upcoming Puerto Rican coffee.

So that’s something.

Is coffee good for you?

Nothing new either way this week. Best to keep drinking, just in case.

A man sits on a park bench reading a newspaper

What to read

How To Save Coffee From Climate Change by Marie Haga

A Blizzard Of “Sustainability” Labels by Jyoti Madhusoodanan

The Revolutionary Coffee Shops Bringing Craft Beans Back To Brazil by Catherine Balston

Until next week, drink good coffee. Watch out for cockroaches.

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