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Warning to All Coffee Lovers Out There

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Ithaca chapter.

Who doesn’t love to wake up the fresh smell of coffee every morning? I know if I don’t have my Caramel Macchiato with skim milk and whipped cream, I would not be a happy camper. Can you imagine how life would be if in the next decade or so coffee could become extinct? *Start to panic*  A coffee shortage is becoming the real deal because of climate change and the Brazilian drought. Here is everything to know about the Brazilian Drought and the effect it has on coffee.

What You Need to Know About Brazil Drought:

The idea of climate change is a serious problem and a scary thought. Southeastern parts of Brazil like São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are experiencing what is to be considered the worst drought in 80 years. Brazil has been considered to be in a drought since 2014 due to the fact that they have had record low rainfall. The drought has caused water to be shut off in major cities because of the high demand for water when there is a low supply. Many people were caught off guard which allowed for no time to prepare. Climate change has affected Brazil severely; it is likely to affect pollution and deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest and coffee plantations as well. The major issue is that droughts are highly likely to continue to happen in Brazil and other parts of the world.

How Does Coffee Tie Into This?

Brazil is considered to be the number one exporter and grower of coffee beans in the world. In 1920 Brazil supplied almost 80% of the world’s coffee, and today they account for 60% of total production. Brazil is best known for their production of Arabica coffee, mainly used in Starbucks’ coffee blends, as well as Green Mountain and many instant coffees. 10% of Arabica coffee is exported from Brazil. Coffee plantations are mostly located in the southern part of Brazil, more specifically in cities like São Paulo. Brazil annually produces anywhere from 40 to 60 million bags. The United States plays a major role in Brazil’s economy, becoming one of the largest buyers of their coffee. Brazil is known for their rich body, mild sweetness, and nuttiness of their coffee.

Why We Should Be Worried:

The idea of having no coffee scares me. Climate change plays an important role in coffee production because it makes it harder for farmers to grow coffee in Brazil, and eventually in other parts of the world as well. The radical climate leads to the creation of lower yields and scarcity of coffee beans. With high consumption of coffee in the United States, this could lead to an increase in prices because of how scarce coffee beans are. Therefore, coffee could become extinct if climate change becomes worse. Does this mean the end of Pumpkin spice lattes as we know it?

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