ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Climate Change Jeopardizes Coffee Crops

Updated on March 3, 2010

Kona snow won't be making its annual appearance this year. In the small southwesterly district on the island of Hawaii, which depends solely on its coffee crops, this is a major blow. For Hawaiians this is just another problematic result of the global climate change, a phenomenon that is intertwined and experienced in their daily life. For the rest of us, this means that next time we reach for a quality single-origin coffee, like the celebrated Kona Blend, we might notice a little difference.

 

Each February, the coffee crops, which are seated along the tiny, but extremely hospitable hills of the Big Island, begin to bloom. The simultaneous white bursts spread across thousands upon thousands of coffee plants, carpeting acres of green, luscious rolls. This is the legendary Kona snow, a natural event which engenders a feeling of rejuvenation and optimism for farmers. Kona snow indicates the health of the trees, as they come out of winter dormancy, and forecasts the trees' ability to produce tasty coffee in the following months.

Kona Coffee Threat

In 2010, the legendary event was barely noticeable. Only a small portion of the Kona coffee trees bloomed, and the flowers only lasted a few days. Many farmers owe this to last year's drought, "The drought has been going on since June 2009. Kona snow lasted a couple days before the heat burned up the flowers. The five acre farm that I am working on is surviving because we have drip irrigation, but the trees are really stressed." Another farmer shares, "Coffee production in Hawaii is impacted. Kona Coffee Belt is seeing worst drought in over 30 years. Trees are shrunk and shriveled, only a few areas are doing the usual February Kona snow bloom." The stress of trees translates easily into stress of the farmers: "I am working on an organic coffee farm just below the Kona Belt. The situation is really bad. Farms are going bankrupt. Hundred year old trees are dying or dead." With the absence of Kona snow this year, the climate change is causing concern for Kona coffee producers, as well as coffee makers all around the globe.

Global Coffee Dilemma

Sea temperatures are rising, polar temperatures are dropping. Coral reefs and their symbiotic fish shoals are dying off, and Siberian tigers are losing compatible habitats. As biological disturbances happen around the world, coffee is the latest delicate species to be disrupted by climate changes. The International Coffee Organization has reported that rising temperatures have affected coffee productions in more ways during these past two years than it has ever affected coffee production.

In 2009, Columbia's coffee crops were traumatized by the shift in climate, and farmers were forced to take their crops to higher, cooler territories. The Columbian coffee production fell 35%—a record low in over 30 years. Next it was Guatemala. This year it's Hawaii. Hawaiian coffee crops are being harmed by the climate change, which can only translate to lower coffee output. Ironically, coffee consumption is projected to grow this year as coffee crops are dwindling under stress.

Beat the Heat

All this indicates that coffee prices will rise and certain delicious single-origin coffees might be harder to find. To combat the rise in coffee prices, try eliminating the middle man. Instead of going out to Starbuck's to get your coffee fix, try making coffee yourself on your favorite home or office brewer. To combat the decline of availability, enjoy the discount that coffee retailers like Green Mountain Coffee or Keurig Coffee offer on popular single-origin and blended coffees, like the all time favorite Kona Coffee.

One of the most popular coffee under threat by the stressed Kona coffee trees is Tully's Kona Blend. Still in production, this delicious origin blend maximizes the delicious notes of Kona coffee beans. Tully's Kona Coffee is mellow and smooth. There is a little hint of a floral kick, but overall this coffee is intensely nuanced and balanced. Farmers with advanced irrigation technologies and other savvy farming strategies will be able to save their Kona crops this year, so that coffee drinkers will still be able to enjoy the Kona coffee taste.

Future of Kona

As we sit at our desks enjoying our delicious cup of coffee, do we ever think about where our coffee comes from? What happens when the root of our favorite office-time pick-me-up is threatened? Kona coffee is rare and delicious. The region's minerals and weather patterns contributes that unique interesting taste that's unlike anything in the world. This summer, once the year's coffee crops become ready for harvest, consumers might see change a hike in costs or a decrease of availability of their prized Kona coffees.

Single-origin Coffee Vote

Have you tried a single-origin coffee?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)