There's Going To Be A Coffee Shortage. The Time To Panic Is Now
The Debrief: We're struggling to make enough coffee. Here's how to get your morning fix instead
Are you reading this while sipping on a tall mocha skinny soya latte slow roasted drip coffee? Don’t freak out. BUT IT MIGHT BE YOUR LAST COFFEE EVER.
Slight exagerration. Sorry. You’ll have plenty more wanky coffees in your time. But, you might have trouble sourcing them. According to Bloomberg (the fancy numbers people who predict this sort of thing), our insatiable appetite for coffee means that we’re driving the world into a devastating coffee shortage.
According to the report, the next coffee season, which starts in three weeks, is already in a deficit of 3.5 million bags of the stuff. By 2030, we’re predicted to consume 200 million bags a year, which means we need to make an extra 56 million bags to counter that. The trouble is, with global warming, coffee-growing countries like Brazil, which suffered from a huge crop-damaging drought in 2014, are going to struggle to keep up.
It gets worse. The bean that’s most at risk from rising temperatures is the Arabica bean which, as coffee connoisseurs will know, is the premium bean used at Starbucks. Here endeth the pumpkin spice latte dream.
Clever clogs should start preparing for the coffee deficit now by cutting down on their coffee consumption, so they don’t suddenly have to go cold turkey when they walk into Starbucks one day in 2025 only to have the barista say, ‘Sorry we’re out of coffee, can I interest you in a Tazo tea instead?’. Because no-one wants a Tazo tea.
Here’s a few suggestions on how to do that.
Wean yourself off the good stuff
And by that I mean, switch to instant coffee. It’s quicker, tastes exactly the same (if you’re the kind of ingrate who thinks that smokey bacon crisps taste anything like real bacon) and can be found in any kitchen anywhere around the world. Even better, it’ll give you a case of the trots so heavy that, in a Pavlovian manner, it’ll put you off anything remotely related to coffee for a good long while.
Switch to bubble tea
It’s still got caffiene in it; a lot actually. A cup of bubble tea actually has more caffiene in it that a small can of Red Bull. Result. Plus, it’s pretty fun. God knows what kind of chemicals are in those little balls of joy that float around in it, but bite into one of them and it’s straight back to being back in Year 3, biting into a Fruit Gusher for the first time and getting strawberry jus all over your Mel C Spice Girls card. Great times.
Become a morning exerciser
I mean really this is a total long shot. You’re either a morning person or you’re not. On the off chance you are one though, then get up earlier than normal and do a run before work or class. You’ll go in with way more energy than you’d get from a coffee. I know because I actually did this one time (you can send me any medals in the post guys) and I was wired. The only problem is that around 11am you then crash harder than a kid who ate all their Halloween candy in one go. Swings and roundabouts.
As in, from the night before. This is a truly terrible idea. Don’t do this.
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