Your hot cup of coffee could be in trouble thanks to an increasingly hot planet. And the problem is so bad, even Starbucks is looking for ways to help make the future better for coffee drinkers and coffee purveyors alike.
According to the MIT Technological Review, coffee beans are “under threat” due to rising temperatures. They cite two specific stats: First, at current temperature increases, 80 percent of the land used to grow Arabica beans in Brazil and Central America will be unsuitable for the crop by 2050, and second, coffee bean production will see a 50 percent decline globally over that same period. Though it won’t necessarily mean the end of coffee, it could lead to worse cups coming at higher prices. Imagine drinking coffee as bad as the stuff you drank in the ‘90s while still paying the prices you pay today. If that doesn’t get you feeling all Al Gore-y, not much will.
As you may have guessed, few companies have as much to lose as Starbucks, and as MIT points out, they’ve already starting looking for ways to ward off any potential problems in the future. Preparing for what may be the inevitable, the coffee giant has been figuring out ways to grow coffee beans at high temperatures. And though being an environmentally-friendly brand makes for a good sales pitch, in the case of Starbucks, fighting climate change can literally affect their bottom line.
Coffee, like the whole planet, may not be doomed quite yet, especially as large established brands bring awareness to the issue. Since the product they sell is so dependent on the environment, it’d be cool to see Starbucks talk more about the issues they’re facing. If anyone can get the PSL crowd concerned about global warming, it’s Starbucks.