Good, Cheap Coffee Going Bye-Bye

Climate change to blame for rising prices
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 19, 2011 3:54 PM CST
Climate Change Makes Coffee More Rare and Expensive
A waiter brings a coffee and the bill to clients at midday on November 7, 2011 at the La Cigale brasserie in the French western city of Nantes.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Sure climate change is scary, but now it's also making coffee more rare and expensive: "This is terrifying news," writes Alex Knapp in Forbes. "Coffee is my lifeblood." He started feeling withdrawal the moment he read "The End of Cheap Coffee" in Good Magazine, which reported on the rise of $5 and $6 coffees in fancy US coffee bars. One bar owner rang the bell of doom by explaining that cheap coffee is "a historical anomaly. ... We’re going back to where coffee began, as an exotic, beloved culinary experience.”

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Why the change? Knapp notes that more countries are developing "a strong, robust middle class that requires coffee to function," so demand is boosting prices. Plus climate change is upsetting the delicate ecosystems of Colombia, which require perfection to produce Arabica coffee. Knapp not only fears for himself, you understand: He points out the link between the caffeine-fueled, Islamic Golden Age and the Enlightenment, saying that civilization itself may be at stake: "Is that really a risk we’re willing to take?" (Read about rainfall battering Central American coffee crops.)

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