As a former coffee shop owner and coffee snob, I’m here to report some alarming news. Of 124 distinct types of naturally grown wild coffee, 75 are in danger of extinction thanks to: 1) climate change, and 2) deforestation, and 3) pests attacking sickly bushes and trees in the area (caused in part by the pollution weakening the bushes and trees natural resistances).
A detailed study in Science Advances has shown this to be a fact, and if we allow things to continue in this direction there will be two outcomes: 1) coffee will be made with inferior beans and blends of beans, and 2) it will become more and more expensive. About 35 of the 124 types grown in areas where there is no conservation or protection. The ones most in danger are in Madagascar and Tanzania. The most used and most popular bean, the arabica bean is already on the endangered species list. What can be done about this soon to be crisis? 1) stop being a climate change denier, and support the replacement of fossil fuels with other sources of energy that don’t mess with the climate (wind, solar, hydro, etc.) 2) support the creation of more protected forest areas in Africa, South America etc. so the beans may continue to grow in the wild; 3) stop supporting candidates for high office who are climate change deniers. I mean, if you’re not going to act when the threat is to your coffee—- when are you going to act? Coffee plants grow in very specific natural habitats— if you don’t protect the habitats, say goodbye to the coffee beans. Start by watching the Nat Geo video— ‘From Beans to Buzz: The Whole History of Coffee’. Enough said….