Caffeine and Cantilevers

of coffee and cyclocross with jared falk

The Glass Shards in your Coke….

I don’t know about you, but with 10 minutes of waking up I already have my kettle on the range and my beans measured.  At this point in my life, I’m usually up at 5:45am everyday (thanks a lot school), which means that my morning routine of boiling, grinding, pressing, consuming, is a relatively mindless task at this point.  I don’t really focus very hard on making a cup perfectly at 5:55 am.  In the afternoon however, I like to spend a little bit of time experimenting and trying new things.  A fresh bag of beans is always great for that because it spices up the morning a little and the afternoon a lot.  (Currently, I’m brewing the Little Bro from Te Aro, now available in Winnipeg from the fine folks at Café Postal, and it’s great)  But after I have my cup ready to go, I’ll usually engage in a little email checking, web surfing, and news finding and rarely do the two cross paths, except for one morning not too long ago.  I came across this news article on CBC outlining the possible extinction of Arabica beans.

Basically the article details how climate change will reduce lands available to produce Arabica variety beans and puts the variety in danger of extinction sometime near 2080.  In my life this is more concerning than the end of the world in December, and it’s not because I’m a bleeding heart hippie or anything, but because I’m a cheap Mennonite and that means coffee prices will sky rocket.  Sure we’ll still have Robusta around, but who wants to drink that anyway?  However, I got to thinking and realized that is study means nothing to a lot of people because a lot of people don’t really know where their coffee comes from or how important coffee is in the global market.  Espresso Machine Advisor actually has pretty nifty info-graphic that gives us a pretty look at the big picture.

It’s also important to note that their are two parent varieties of beans, Arabica and Robusta, but most of the good coffee is a mutation of Arabica or a blend of sibling varieties.  Take the Te Aro Little Bro for example:

Te Aro Little Bro

Currently the Little Bro is a blend of Sidama (Ethiopia), an undisclosed variety from the San Pedro La Laguna in Atitlan region in Guatemala, and another undisclosed variety from Burundi.  All of which are likely in the Arabica family.  Your coffee can also be a single origin, like the Heirloom variety of the Ethiopia Yurko from Heart which I had a few weeks ago ( and special thanks to Jonny’s for carrying Heart in Manitoba )

With impending doom of the Arabica family, all that will be left is Robusta and it’s mutations, which is usually reserved for cutting in to lower quality blends (it’s the glass shards in your coke).  And while people will still abel to drink coffee in 2080, it won’t be good.  So two options, save the planet and join The Planeteers or enjoy is while we can.  So here’s the good times, and good coffee.  I’ll leave you with a trailer for a new film coming out shortly from filmmaker Brandon Loper about coffee and coffee culture.  Let’s just make sure that these aren’t the glory days.


One comment on “The Glass Shards in your Coke….

  1. Duncan McMonagle (@dmcmonagle)
    November 29, 2012

    Does Tim Hortons know all this?

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This entry was posted on November 29, 2012 by in coffee.




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