Tag Archives: Counter Culture

the end of an anomaly

19 Nov

Four-plus years of being a barista has meant that I can’t ignore the perennially absurd happenings of the coffee world. I’m still a junkie for brew methods and barista jams, and I regularly fork over three dollars for an eight-ounce cup of coffee. But this week Zak Stone wrote a fascinating piece on the decline of cheap coffee for GOOD. It turns out changes in weather patterns have taken a heavy toll on coffee bean yields. A really heavy toll.

“Between 2006 and 2009, the Colombian yield shrank by a quarter—from 12 million bags to 7.8 million, the lowest yield in 33 years,” Stone reports amid some fantastic illustrations by Dan Matutina. “The forecast doesn’t look good for the rest of the coffee-growing world, either: more pests in East Africa, more hurricanes in Central America, more droughts in Indonesia. Global coffee stockpiles are close to record lows.”

What this means is that coffee won’t be as cheap as it has been, which Counter Culture‘s Peter Giuliano says has been a long time coming. “Coffee as cheap fuel for the masses is a historical anomaly,” he says. “We’re going back to where coffee began—as an exotic, beloved culinary experience.”

It’s one of the best things I’ve read in a while, and the writing is beyond GOOD‘s typical fare. Check it out here.

Illustrator Dan Matutina's take on the brewing storm