Hope you’re ready to face the day with nothing but your own unsharpened wits about you. Soon, they will be all you have left.
A new report from Australia’s Climate Institute predicts that by 2050, global warming will make at least half of the land currently used for coffee production unable to produce quality beans. By 2080, it cautions, hot temperatures could make wild coffee plants completely extinct. Although this report is projecting what will happen to supplies in decades to come, the coffee shortage isn’t really off in the distant future. It’s already started to fall.
Brazil—the source for over a third of the world’s coffee—has seen its coffee shops dip dramatically in the last two years as the result of a long drought. So far, unusually large harvests in other world coffee markets helped to make up most of the difference. But we can hardly expect these big harvests to continue. In fact, their trend may actually reverse. Much of Brazil’s latest shortfall was made up for by a record-breaking coffee harvest in Honduras—which is a coffee-growing area that this new report will probably be hit particularly hard in the coming decades.
Even the relatively smaller shift from Brazil’s shortage in the last couple years resulted in a price surge and a jump in counterfeit coffee beans (which pretend to be fancier coffee varieties than they are). With the spread of the shortage, we can only expect to see rising coffee prices and counterfeiting show up as even more of a problem in our daily cups.