If we don’t save the environment, we may have a world without coffee. According to research from the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens in the UK, coffee beans may be an endangered species soon. Thanks to deforestation, droughts and plant diseases, the chances of coffee bean survival looks very grim. The study reports that 60 percent of coffee species, or 75 out of the 124 different species, are in danger of being extincted.
“The important thing to remember is that coffee requires a forest habitat for its survival,” senior researcher Aaron P. Davis told CNN. “With so much deforestation going on around the world, wild coffee species are being impacted at an alarming rate.”
Coffee grows in very particular habitats and temperatures, and do to climate change and increased rainfall, we are on the way to not being able to have our morning cup of joe. The arabica bean, which is the most popular one, is already in danger and can become extinct in 60 years. The global coffee trade relies heavily on this species. The coffee growing in Madagascar and Tanzania is at the greatest risk.
“Considering threats from human encroachment and deforestation, some (coffee species) could be extinct in 10 to 20 years, particularly with the added influence of climate change,” Davis added.
If there are fewer coffee types to choose from, coffee will become pricey and taste worse.
There is some hope though. Davis says that there have been three new protected areas created in Ethiopia to help save wild arabica coffee. There were also 35 coffee species that were found as not being threatened by extinction.