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How Starting Your Car in the Morning is Making Coffee Expensive

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Last night I was reading Pour Your Heart Into It by Starbucks founder Howard Schultz and he talked about how in 1994 they faced one of the biggest crises in the company’s history.

There was frost in Brazil which meant the price of coffee would skyrocket, even though most of the Brazilian coffee ends up in a can.

This got me thinking about the weather and its influence on coffee and the other relationship which is between climate change and coffee.

The plants that grow coffee beans take about 4 years to grow before they can start producing coffee berries.

Those berries that end up turned into coffee beans have been grown throughout central South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia.

World's Top 25 Coffee Growing Countries
Source: Climate.gov

But now the area that you can grow that plant is shrinking.

There are two most common types of coffee plant, Robusta(usually used for espressos and instant coffee) and Arabica(this is usually used by Starbucks to make smooth and mild coffee).

The Arabica plant is said to be sensitive, needing temperatures of around 18°C to 21°C.

If the temperature is too hot the berries won’t grow currently and are too cold and the plant dies. The plant is also specific about its rain needs.

So what does this plant have to do with your car?

Well, greenhouse gas emissions have warmed some of the regions where this plant is grown by 1.2°C

That small increase is enough to push the plant out of its optimum temperature zone in order for it to grow.

This leaves the quality of berries that we get to be poor and in regions like Columbia, farmers are forced to go up the mountain in order to get the right temperature.

According to Vox Media, since 2013 the amount of land used to grow coffee has fallen by more than 7%.

A recent study that estimates that by 2050 the amount of land that can sustain coffee cultivation will be decreased by 50%.

So the threat of climate change is massive and the simple act of starting your gas-powered car can have detrimental effects on everything we know and love.

You can go to Mazibuko Motor Company to learn about our work in fighting climate change.

This post is inspired and the information sourced from a Vox video

Source: The Global Coffee Crisis Is Coming

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