We’ve read several reports about the coffee shortage caused by the drought in Brazil, the world’s largest producer of coffee.
News that Brazil’s coffee production in 2015 may hit a 50-year low has already pushed coffee prices to a 3-year high. This year the price of arabica beans has risen 70 percent.
Let’s assume this shortage isn’t some foul plot by speculators to manipulate coffee prices. The drought will affect coffee production in years to come, and climate change is only going to make the situation worse.
Isn’t the Philippines a coffee producer? How much coffee do we produce? Some years ago we heard that our coffee production couldn’t even meet the local demand, and the Philippines had to import coffee from Vietnam. (Vietnamese coffee growers plant robusta beans. Kapeng barako is liberica.) Has local coffee production increased?
In the late 19th century, blight destroyed coffee crops all over the world, making the Philippines, particularly Lipa, Batangas, the only source of coffee on the planet. Lipa got spectacularly rich.
The thought that our four or five cups of coffee a day may be endangered is enough to give us the shakes.