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Is the World Running Out of Coffee? Supply Facts Explained

hands showing harvested coffee beans

If you are in tune with the coffee world, it’s only a matter of time before you hear about the doom and gloom of coffee. But is the world coffee supply running out, or is it something different media outlets are overhyping for clicks and views?

The truth is likely somewhere in between. So, why are people saying the world is running out of coffee, and is it something you should worry about? We will break down everything you need to know here.

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Is the World Running Out of Coffee?

It’s the question every coffee lover in the world wants an answer to: are we running out of coffee? The good news is that it doesn’t seem like a global coffee shortage is imminent. The bad news is that it might not be as far off as we’d like.

According to a study by The Climate Institute in Australia, the world could run out of coffee by 2080 due to climate change.1 Furthermore, by 2050 they state that it’s possible that half of the world’s current land-growing coffee beans could become unsuitable.

This would lead to a drastic rise in coffee prices and could price out many consumers. However, it’s worth noting that this study does not address new technologies or other potential solutions to keep the world’s coffee supply going.

And perhaps more importantly, this study is talking about wild coffee. Even if climate change and other factors wipe out all wild coffee, there will still be a much smaller supply of coffee grown in controlled conditions. The price would be significantly higher and would be far less accessible to most people, but coffee would still exist.

So, while there’s certainly some risk to the world’s coffee supply and prices could be on the rise, we don’t think there’s any immediate threat to the world’s coffee supply.

empty coffee cups
Image Credit: Izz R, Unsplash

Factors Affecting Coffee Supply

By far, the largest factor affecting the world’s coffee supply is climate change. A warming climate might seem like a good thing for the sun-loving coffee bean, but the problem is that the existing growing regions might become too hot, and it could lead to a rise of other pests and factors that could be detrimental to coffee.

Moreover, a rise in temperatures can affect the quality of coffee, making each cup of joe a little less enjoyable.

Another factor that is affecting the world’s coffee supply is deforestation. Most coffee beans come from South America, and currently, the forests in that region are shrinking. As the forests shrink, it can negatively impact coffee growers in the region.

a male farmer holding on a branch of a shade grown coffee plant in Tanzania
Image Credit: gunnarmallon, Pixabay

Hope for Coffee’s Future

While there’s cause for concern for the world’s coffee supply, it’s not time to start panicking about the demise of coffee. There are a few different things that should give coffee lovers around the world a bit of hope.

First, if humans can curb global emissions and limit global warming, it will lead to a smaller impact on coffee. Second, there’s the potential for scientific technologies to limit the impact of rising temperatures on coffee beans.

New strands can become more heat and pest-resistant, and new technologies can help with pest control. However, these technologies open the world’s coffee supply to new potential problems.

First, it will dramatically reduce the variety you can find in the different coffees available at the store. And more importantly, by having fewer varieties, the world’s coffee supply is more susceptible to diseases and pests that might otherwise only affect a single variety.

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Final Thoughts

Thinking of a world without coffee is a terrifying concept, and while it’s closer than we’d like, the good news is that it doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen any time soon. Still, it couldn’t hurt to try and lower our global emissions a bit, even if it is just to try and keep our favorite beverage thriving and available for a lower price!

Featured Image Credit: Jumpstory


Kate MacDonnell

Kate is a lifelong coffee enthusiast and homebrewer who enjoys writing for coffee websites and sampling every kind of coffee known to man. She’s tried unusual coffees from all over the world and owns an unhealthy amount of coffee gear.

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