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Whatever floats your sailboat: carbon-free coffee blown across ...

World

Whatever floats your sailboat: carbon-free coffee blown across high seas

A small band of importers is trying to overthrow dirty cargo ships to deliver lower-carbon coffee beans

Irina Anghel and Eamon Akil Farhat

There’s never been a more dreamy way to have your coffee delivered than a sailboat across the Atlantic.

A small number of speciality roasters in Europe are now offering beans that have been sailed — rather than shipped via fossil-fuel burning vessels — from South America. While they’re a rare luxury compared with standard bags of supermarket coffee, these windblown beans may inspire some imaginative ideas for finding and stamping out carbon emissions from your everyday life.

Here’s a glimpse of the journey. Roasters buy the beans directly from growers in countries such as Colombia before they’re stored in a warehouse and loaded onto a sailboat destined for ports such as Le Havre or Penzance. The crossing typically takes six weeks. The beans are then couriered to speciality roasters before ending up in espressos served in coffee shops or at home...

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