The global consequences of Brazil's ongoing drought have finally made their way to your morning cup of joe, as a disappointing crop's forced some of the country's most popular coffee brands to finally jack their prices.
Friday, Kraft raised the price of Maxwell House and Yubon brands of coffee a full 10 percent, the Wall Street Journal reports, in the same week that J.M. Smucker announced a 9 percent increase on brands like Dunkin' Donuts and Folgers.
Prices of arabica beans hit a two-year high of $2.15 per pound earlier this year, according to the WSJ, and while they've eased a bit since then, they're still up 55 percent. Starbucks announced that it's already locked in its coffee supply for the year, and is still biding its time in hopes that the market's merely overreacting. But the combined impacts of global warming, including rising temperatures and increased instances of extreme weather, could spell out a worrisome long-term trend.
Fortunately, as Modern Farmer helpfully pointed out last time we sounded the alarm about pricier coffee, there is a back-up plan: robusta beans may be more suited to a changing climate. Right now, they're mostly used as filler in canned and instant coffees as, in the opinion of one analyst, they're "too harsh, too dirty, too rubbery" to be enjoyed on their own. In other words, it's not a great alternative -- Maxwell, notably, prides itself on being "100 percent arabica." But eventually, we may be forced to either pay more, or settle for less.