I’ve touched on it with the second part of the “Instant coffee, is it Kape” series. Those lovely, complex flavored Arabica beans are in danger of extinction because the places where they grow are dying out.
The study being referenced by the articles was conducted by the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens in the UK, with the findings being published in ScienceAdvances and Global Change Biology. However, I was too tired and bored to read through the whole things so I made do with the report from the New York Post.
According to the study, out of 124 species analyzed, 75 species face the threat of extinction: 13 considered critically endangered; 40 endangered; and 22 being “vulnerable”. Pointing to climate change as the main culprit is easy but why does it seem that coffee is one of the most susceptible to extinction?
It seems that the coffee plant (that yields Arabica specifically) is more “vulnerable” because of the high demand for coffee – instant coffee. This, and the misinformed masses that rely on advertising to decide how they want their coffee, are in my opinion the catalyst for a coffeepocalypse (yes, I went there!).
In a nutshell, Robusta caters more to the needs of instant coffee manufacturers. Instead of spending millions to procure Arabica for a lower margin, they instead purchase Robusta in mass quantities and spend millions in advertising to earn billions. Why would farmers tire themselves out to take care of Arabica plants when they know they won’t earn that much with them?
According to Aaron Davis, one of the lead authors of the study: “As a coffee drinker you don’t need to worry in the short term… if we don’t act now to preserve those key resources we don’t have a very bright future for coffee farming.” (The New York Post)
We still have time.
For my fellow countrymen who rely on the quick fix from instant coffee to start their day – to be able to provide for themselves and their families – I am not attacking you. I am also not forcing you to drop your hand earned money to buy expensive coffee just because “it tastes better”. I am merely writing this to make the issue of climate change (and corporate greed, but I digress) more relatable to people.
Did I use this study (and subsequent articles about the study) to find another opportunity to write about the negative effect instant coffee has to quality coffee? Yes. Does it matter? You decide.
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Categories: serious Kape