Coffee Apocalypse Coming? Demand and Brazilian Drought Point to ‘Yes’

Written by on January 5, 2016 in Environment, Farming with 8 Comments


By Julie Fidler | Natural Society

Drought-stricken Brazil will probably produce 10% fewer harvests of popular Robusta and Arabica coffee beans over the next year. That, along with a projected increase in global demand means the beans will become increasingly precious, according to the Foreign Agricultural Service’s coffee bean production report.

Related Article: Organic Farming: Resilience in the Time of Drought

Coffee lovers, grab a cup of java, a box of tissues, and be prepared to find a support group.

It’s coming.
A global coffee shortage.
Breathe in, breathe out…

Blame the traumatic news on this crazy weather we’ve been having.

And fewer beans mean higher prices, so if you think Starbucks is overpriced now, just wait. You’ll pay more to be unhealthy.

Brazil, the world’s largest coffee producer, churns out some 50 million bags of coffee each year. The production of Robusta beans is expected to fall 3.7 million bags to 13.3 million. Arabica bean production is forecasted to fall 1.2 million bags to 36.1 million.

The combined Arabica and Robusta harvest is forecast to drop by 4.9 million bags to 49.4 million. [1]

That’s like, a week’s worth of coffee for some people.

Related Article: Is Coffee Good for You? Study Shows How the Type You Drink Affects Your Brain

There’s one little K-cup of good news in all this. A shortage may not be imminent. Thanks to perfect growing conditions in Honduras, Indonesia, and Vietnam, world coffee production for 2015 and 2016 is forecast up 600,000 bags over the previous year to 150.1 million overall – offsetting the shortfall in Brazil.

There’s still time to stock up, and stock up you should, because it’s almost inevitable that a true shortage is coming as long as the drought persists in Brazil. If you’ve never been a prepper in the past, for the love of all that is holy, start prepping now. The world is already a scary place. We don’t need withdrawal headaches and mood swings making things worse.

And if you’re a coffee snob, you’re probably contributing to the coming shortage (ha).

“Regardless of what happens in Brazil now … we will see higher prices and more competition for higher-quality coffee,” Kim Elena Ionescu, a coffee buyer for North Carolina-based coffee roasting company Counter Culture says.

It will take an additional 40 to 50 million bags over the next decade to keep up with demand, and Italian coffee roaster Andrea Illy says that “sooner or later, we’ll have to make a bold decision about what to do. We don’t know where this coffee will come from.” [2]

Related Article: ‘Cubosomes’ in Coffee Could Provide All-Day Energy in Just 1 Cup

Stock up? When the under-caffeinated zombie apocalypse hits, you can take comfort in knowing you were warned and took action.


[1] Daily Mail

[2] Science Alert

About Julie Fidler:

Julie Fidler is a freelance writer, legal blogger, and the author of Adventures in Holy Matrimony: For Better or the Absolute Worst. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two ridiculously spoiled cats. She occasionally pontificates on her blog.

Read more great articles at Natural Society.

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8 Reader Comments

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  1.' Joshua Smith-Riley says:

    Andrea Racko hahaha Stefany Jane Lynch hahaha

  2.' Smardy Saw Light says:

    …welcome to #Ethiopia…the very origin of coffee..<3..

  3.' Pampii Pamplona says:

    PHILIPPINES has the best coffee better than Brazil…

    •' JJ says:

      World’s apart, Brazil Coffee is miles ahead of the sub standard trees going in the Philippines. Liberica & other Robusta hybrids with poor cup quality. It’s not even a contest.

  4.' Shivam Pieter Lalleman says:

    Well, I live in Brazil, — few facts, the north-east is experiencing drought but the country is big, it’s effect on production overall is small, and great infrastructure projects are in their final stage of completition which will secure water supply in the affected region. Meanwhile, let some african nations expand their markets a bit, we are not like the USofA and will not send in our military to blow up their citizens or overthrow their governments, the world is big enough to share, send you my love Smardy and wish you a good coffee year — Love Shivam —

    •' Barbara J Peterson says:

      Thank you for this tidbit… makes it easier to enjoy a cup and not worry so much about how much it is going to cost in the future!

    •' Shivam Pieter Lalleman says:

      Pitter Patter, rain falling down, little later, sun’s comin round, just take a walk when autum comes to town — dab dee dubb dee dee dum–

  5.' Sharon Wood says:

    This not the only country that grows coffee ,other countries have had bumper crops ,drop on market from $ 1.80 lb. to $ 1.20 .

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