New Study Finds COVID-19 Will Increase Coffee Prices for Consumers

According to new research the COVID-19 pandemic is probably going to cause what authors called a “severe production crisis” in coffee as multifaceted web of socio-economic factors make conditions worse for small coffee farmers.

The multi university study including Rutgers, Purdue, the University of Hawaii, CIRAD, Exeter and Santa Clara University, looked at the leaf rust outbreaks in the Americas in the past and the recent outbreaks elsewhere of the crop-killing disease.

The study also discovered links between a lack of investment in coffee farms under poor socio-economic conditions, the increased prevalence of leaf rust and poor conditions for farmers and other players in the coffee production chain.

The study concluded that further socio-economic problems caused by COVID-19, like impacts on labor and reductions investments, are probably going not create long-term shocks that will threaten global production levels. The final link in this chain will be increased cost for everyday coffee consumers.

 

Xbar Espresso Maker on KickStarter

The newest coffee related Kickstarter project is a portable espresso brewer called the Xbar. It employs either CO2 cartridges or a bike tire pump to create water pressure.

A pair of valves on the side of the Xbar allow for the two different pressures sources. One is a Shrader valve compatible with many kinds of bike pumps. The other valve, of course, takes one use 8-gram CO2 cartridges. Much like those in small seltzer makers.

If using a bike pump, the pump controls the upward ramp of pressure during brewing. If using a cartridge, a paddle on the top of the Xbar lets brewers control the upward ramp of pressure. In both cases a metal knob on the side is used to throttle the pressure down. A standard pressure gauge on the face of the espresso maker lets brewers monitor the pressure level.

The brew head is stainless steel. The pressure control system is aluminum, stainless steal and brass. The aluminum stand comes in two heights depending on what kind of cups brewers prefer.

Xbar says a user should get 4-8 double or triple shots of espresso from one CO2 cartridge—all dependent on water volume, extraction duration etc.

 

EPA Allows Use of Chemical Fungicide in Hawaii’s Battle Against Coffee Leaf Rust

The United States Environmental Protection Agency, also known as the EPA, has approved a request from Hawaii’s Department of Agriculture to allow coffee farmers the use of a chemical fungicide in the state’s ongoing battle against the extremely devastation leaf rust disease.

Coffee leaf rust has appeared in nearly every country or region in which coffee is cultivated on a commercial level over the past 150 years. It was discovered for the very first time in the state of Hawaii in October 2020 on Hawaii’s island Maui.

It was discovered in November on Hawaii’s “big island” where a large portion of the state’s commercial coffee is grown. This includes the popular Kona coffee.
Coffee leaf rust has the ability to destroy, quickly, large portions of farmer’s crops. Between 2012 and 2017 coffee leaf rust caused an estimated $3 billion dollars in loss for coffee producers throughout Latin America.

That same threat hovers of the heads of and crops of coffee farms in Hawaii. The market value of green coffee grown in Hawaii in the 2019-2020 season was estimated at $102 million and the value of roasted coffee at $148 million. If coffee leaf rust isn’t stopped in Hawaii the outcome could easily be economically devastating for the industry.

 

Cooking with Tea

Both tea and coffee can be used not only as the basis for some of our favorite beverages but can also be used as ingredients in the food we eat! Here is one interesting recipe. Jasmine glazed pork or chicken.

1 C brewed Jasmine tea
1 tablespoon water
¼ C olive oil
¼ C sugar
2 cloves fresh garlic, pressed or chopped
1 teaspoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Pepper to taste (salt optional)

In small saucepan heat the cup of Jasmine tea. Add sugar and boil until dissolved.
Add garlic and pepper. Simmer.

Put cornstarch in small bowl and mix with 1 tablespoon water to make a paste.
While stirring constantly add paste until glaze reaches desired consistency.
Remove from heat. Add olive oil. Let cool. Add balsamic vinegar. Marinate meat in tea glaze in a covered container.

Almost Spring Latte Recipe

It is quite spring but here in Ohio we are having some warmer whether and a flower is popping up here and there. It is also almost St. Patrick’s Day. Here is an unusual coffee treat to warm you up if you still need or add ice if things are feeling a little stuffy.

Lavender Mint Latte
2 ounces espresso
5 ounces cold whole milk
3/4 ounce lavender syrup
2/3 ounce peppermint syrup
mint leaf

Add premade espresso to your favorite glass. In whatever you’ll use to steam the milk add milk, lavender syrup and peppermint syrup. Pour milk over the coffee. Hold the froth until you’ve poured enough milk. Mint leaf for garnish.

Steamed Milk at Home:
Add desired amount of milk to a small pan.
Keep your stove on low-medium.
Stir milk gently until the temperature reaches 150°F.
Add the steamed milk to brewed coffee, or froth as desired with whisk.