Coffee’s Goldilocks Problem
Coffee is a beverage with deeply complex character and history. Unfortunately, you can’t find much about coffee’s story in North America. The continent is the recipient of most of the world’s coffee but the producer of almost none. Only one U.S. state grows coffee (Hawaii) and that’s because of its unique geography. Everywhere else is inhospitable to the fickle bean.
So last month, we traveled south to see coffee’s complexities. A drought in Brazil earlier this year led to dramatically lower supply and higher prices on the global coffee exchange worldwide, where coffee is sold as a commodity. In Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais, we met farmers and producers. We visited packaging plants and a quality testing lab. We tried