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Coffee Drought

Coffee beans take up 3-4 years to grow before producing berries, which are picked washed. Pulped, dried and roasted to make a coffee. The world consumes about 500 billion cups of it every year. It is grown by millions of farmers across Latin America. Africa and Asia. However, there is a crisis on the horizon. This is the only area where the coffee plant can grow, and as man-made climate change warms the planet. It's shrinking. Here in Colombia, one of the biggest coffee producers globally, the impact of that crisis can already be felt. About 15 years ago, production fell enormously. Last year production was super low. It was terrifying.

As the climate changes, economic expectations have also changed, and prices are lower. The coffee cultural landscape will be nothing but just a memory—over a hundred spices of the coffee plant. The vast majority occur in the wild, while a few are cultivated on a farm. Two of which are by far the most common Arabica and robusta. Robusta Coffee has a bitter taste and is used to make espresso and more instant coffee. Arabica coffee is good stuff. It has a smooth and mild flavor and is used for high-quality coffee. Both species of plants require specific conditions to grow, but Arabica is particularly sensitive.

The plant needs temperature between 18-21Celsius. Too hot and the berries won't grow correctly too cold, and it can freeze. It also requires a specific amount of rain, preferably with a 3-month dry season to flower. Crucially, it needs warm days and cold nights. So it grows best at a condition at a specific elevation. Altogether that means Arabica grows best between 30 south to 25 North latitudes. If you were to create a perfect place for it, it would look a lot like Colombia. Specifically, the Zona Cafeteria, Colombia's coffee region.

We have all the variety of elements, we have water, we have used colder winds, the temperature rises because of the sun. The Coffee farmers grow and process it all by hand here. Which is why Colombian coffee has been considered the best in the world for over a century. People in Colombia love it because they were born within the coffee, they were raised by coffee. In my personal experience, I love coffee. It is something that helps me relax and soothes my pain away from my horrible experience of my struggles. Coffee is art; it has become an art. But the Zona cafeteria is also where climate change is already taking a toll. GreenHouse gas emissions have warmed the region by 1.2 degrees since 1980. That's enough to push the optimal elevation for coffee higher up the mountain. Leaving the Plants down to overheat and produce lower-quality beans.


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