Climate change is inevitable. That’s why I’ve been trying to switch to tea. But my true love is coffee.
When I smell that amazing aroma drifting in from the kitchen each morning, it motivates me to drag my head off the pillow and start my day.
As the climate changes, however, some studies floating around the Internet suggest that coffee could become extinct within the next 100 years. Here’s the gist: If wild Arabica plants die off due to climate changes, farmed coffee plants won’t fare as well. Eventually, the farmed versions will die off due to an inability to fight disease and coffee will no longer exist.
All this time, I thought aliens from outer space were the ones who would attack us for our resources. After reading about the glum outlook for coffee, I believe we are the ones who will have to venture to far away planets and overtake their resources. We will be forced to locate more wild coffee plants elsewhere in this vast universe.
Everyone else seems all upset over crude oil consumption to the point of using it all up. Not me. Given a choice, I would take coffee over oil. I was born with a set of feet, therefore I don’t need to drive. The smell of gasoline as well as the exhaust it creates is nauseating. I can even do without all the conveniences crude oil affords, such as the production of plastic.
But how would I get up each morning without that magical aroma tapping me on the shoulder and beckoning me toward the kitchen? My crazy life needs more kick than a bland smelling cup of tea offers at daybreak.
Another concern is how Hubby will adjust should coffee disappear. Hubby is the main coffee guy in our household. He grinds the beans, makes the coffee and cleans the machine. He could pour and serve in his sleep. Some days the coffee is lacking, but most days it is wonderful.
Should there be no more coffee for Hubby to make and serve, I fear he would become severely blue over the lack of purpose that would creep into his life. I can just imagine that coffee-less future in which he sits in his robe, sadly sulking over the morning paper.
He could make us all tea or serve up some orange juice. But he would not be able to do it with a smile and a spring in his step. Part of what puts pep in his early morning routine is the smell of fresh ground beans. And Hubby’s reason for singing each morning is partially due to the aromatic properties of fresh brewed coffee. It’s mostly due to his obsessive compulsions with music, but it’s partially due to coffee.
Hubby aside, if coffee ceased to exist, what would become of all the coffee houses and their baristas? Imagine a world in which we could not, after an exhausting 10-minute drive, pull into one of the millions of coffee shops and order a half-caf, skinny mochachino with a sprinkle of nutmeg. Horrifying, just horrifying.
Meanwhile, Mr. Coffee would have to change its name to Mr. Tea. Such a change would most likely cause lawsuits from the entire A-Team. Havoc would break out and there would be rioting in the streets. Police would be forced to use copious amounts of chamomile to calm the fury.
While the coffee industry would come crashing down, landing in a devastating pile of rubble and used grounds, the tea industry would surely pick up. The coveted drink would become chai. Baristas would have to relearn their craft, possibly taking to studying in the East.
Other industries would be affected as well. You cannot dunk biscotti or doughnuts in tea. While it might be possible to dunk confections in hot chocolate, it simply would not be the same. And, even if we did become accustomed to dunking in the chocolaty beverage, with coffee endangered, can cocoa be far behind?
While it’s hard to imagine, there are pros to a coffee-less future. For example, it would create more counter space. The coffee machine, French press, mug holder, bean grinder and assorted accessories currently occupy about 400 square feet of kitchen real estate in our house alone.
All my life, I thought NASA was looking for a planet that had oxygen and water. But what they must really be seeking out is a planet with plenty of wild Arabica. Air and water won’t do you much good without coffee.
It is entirely possible that the studies I found on the Internet regarding the demise of coffee beans are unfounded. However, just to be on the safe side — and to assure Hubby’s ongoing mental stability — I will be hoarding coffee for a while.
Guest at our house, unless they are the Pope or president, will be offered tea, not coffee — at least until wild Arabica plants are no longer endangered.
Micki Bare is a columnist for the Arkansas News Bureau and the Courier-Tribune in Asheboro, N.C., and author of "Thurston T. Turtle Moves to Hubbleville." She lives in Asheboro with her husband, three children and mother. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org