The Looming Coffee Apocalypse

Alex Balk, The Awl:

Can you imagine? Think about how unpleasant people are already, with coffee. Think about how unpleasant people are about coffee. And I'm not even talking about your garden-variety dickheads who debate the merits of pour-over brew versus the Estonian flatiron reverse-osmosis method, which is probably a thing even though I just made it up. I'm talking about the people who are all, "I can't start the day without coffee," as if the rest of us aren't just as tired and irritable without feeling the apparently deep-seated need to broadcast just how dependent we are on hot water dripped through crushed beans to help us contend with the arduous tasks of getting to work and turning on a computer. These are the people we're going to have to club to death first during our grim, coffeeless future, which the New Scientist (registration required) sees as coming "by 2080." Oh, wait, 65 years? We'll all be long dead by then. Never mind.

Although the headline is slightly alarmist, there does appear to be a significant climate-related threat to Arabica coffee. Should ecological trends continue unabated, that specific strain of coffee will go extinct within the next 65 years. (Just think of the irritable, sleepy children listening to long-winded stories about their grandparents Aeropressing coffee twice a day.)

Fortunately, there's multiple solutions to the problem. I would know. I panicked and had to sign up for New Scientist to read the article. The registration confirmation literally said, "You're now a New Scientist!" Face, I'd like to introduce you to palm.

(It's also worth noting that this terrifying form of coffee extinction has been chalked up to the general fussiness of coffee trees. Which is just perfect.)

In exchange for Arabica's extinction, we'll be forced into using several crossbred forms of coffee which have been specifically designed for changing environments. That's if, you know, we can plant the seeds anywhere not filled with coffee-related corpses.

So, just as we do with fuel, let's continue our caffeinated habits without any particular worries. We'll let the Snapchat-addicted kids get their collective lives together to solve this one.

Increased Coffee Intake Results in Increased Life Expectancy


Today, the New England Journal of Medicine has published a study concerning the correlation between coffee consumption and life-expectancy. Jamie Condliffe has summarized the results for Gizmodo:

The large-scale study, which is published in the New England Journal of Medicine, showed that men who drank six cups of coffee or more every day were 10 per cent less likely to die during the 14 years of the study. Women who drank six cups or more were 15 per cent less likely to die over that same period. The result, fairly obviously, suggests that coffee drinkers live longer.

The researchers have also shown that the effect is seen across almost all causes of death, including heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, diabetes, and infections. The effect, however, seems to decline with lower consumption—and a single cup of coffee a day was found to have negligible effect.

Incidentally, my new espresso machine arrived this morning.