Get used to expensive coffee. And It’ll probably taste worse too


Get used to expensive coffee. And It’ll probably taste worse too

A global shortage of arabica coffee beans is tempting roasters to swap in the harsher robusta variety

Archie Hunter, Marvin G Perez and Mumbi Gitau

Coffee snobs have a lot to worry about right now. A global shortage of beans is already threatening to push up prices at cafes and supermarkets. Now, your morning cappuccino or latte might start leaving a bitter taste for other reasons too.

The world is facing a desperate shortfall of arabica coffee, the variety that gives the smoothest flavour and makes up about 60% of world production. Supplies were decimated after extreme weather destroyed crops, and with a La Nina pattern forecast through early 2022 expected to further hurt yields, it could take years for the market to recover. Arabica prices are surging to reflect the mounting crisis, while global shipping congestion is making it even harder to get beans where they are needed. 

“This is not just a short-term issue,” said Kona Haque, who leads research at commodity trader ED&F Man in London. “It’s actually something that we’re going to be factoring in for the next couple of years.”..

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