It’s hard to imagine a world without coffee. Yet, we may one day face that exact reality.
As temperatures rise in the places coffee beans grow, including Brazil, Ethiopia, Vietnam and Indonesia, arable farming land in these regions is expected to decrease by as much as 50% by 2050. Experts predict that climate change could jeopardize two of the main coffee varieties we enjoy, arabica and robusta, as well as more than 124 other coffee species. Factors such as erosion, poor land management, disease and deforestation also threaten the crop, which is expected to become more rare and expensive all while becoming less delicious.
“Make no mistake,” says former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz (more on his company later). “Climate change is going to play a bigger role in affecting the quality and integrity of coffee.”
This month, we highlight 34 Northeast Ohio coffee shops that are hip, cozy and educational. These community cornerstones are the work of creators whose care for their craft starts at the source and ends up in your cup.
At Cleveland Magazine, our focus is hyper local, but this issue’s sister feature — on Starbucks baristas fighting to unionize — also reminds me that there are locals on the front lines of even America’s biggest coffee corporation. They love and need their jobs. If they didn’t, as one worker says, they wouldn’t be fighting for them.
It would be nice to live in a world where simple pleasures were truly simple. But they aren’t. It would be nice to live in a world where we didn’t have to fight for our way of life. But we don’t. Behind every bean, every cafe and every simple pleasure is a struggle. So as you pour your favorite local brew, we hope to offer a deeper appreciation for that simple cup of Joe.
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