You may have already heard about the predicted bacon shortage this winter, but what you may not have heard yet is that the other half of your classic pretzel-coffee combo may also be under threat with the coming effects of climate change.  Often, in the debate over Kyoto successions, failed Copenhagen, melting glaciers, and exaggerated statistics, it is sometimes easy to forget that climate change will actually have an impact on your everyday life, no matter how far away from the encroaching Sahara or flooded coast and chars of Bangladesh.

Coffee is made from two different kinds of beans: Robusta, which, like its name suggests is a more robust version of the traditional bean, and Arabica.  Coffee purists will tell you that Arabica gives you a much deeper, more complex, and generally better flavour, and we generally agree!  (All our coffee is direct sourced Arabica beans from Union Roasted.)  Given it’s less resilient and generally more delicate nature, Arabica beans will suffer disproportionately from the effects of climate change, and production looks likely to decrease from 2/3 of world stocks, as it represents now, to less than half that quantity.  This will also have effects beyond your morning cup of coffee and the increased price and competition for beans, it also represents a significant challenge to the livelihoods of those farmers and cooperatives currently growing Arabica.  In a worst case scenario, up to 99.7% (virtually the entire area) of land currently used for cultivation, could become unsuitable to growing Arabica by 2050.  In some regions this may happen even sooner; some parts of South Sudan look likely to be halted by climate change as early as 2020.

Even if we all pull out our birkenstocks and bicycles, install rainwater collection systems, wind turbines, and solar panels in our flats, climate change has already progressed far enough that it will have a drastic impact on your day to day lives, including your morning source of caffeine.  Let’s just hope those worst case scenarios are over-grim.  And, errr, bike to the shop instead of driving, would you please?  We quite like our coffee!