This article hit close to home for me. Literally. It was just over the holiday season that I mentioned to my mom that her coffee doesn’t taste as good as it used to. She insisted that she was buying the same blend as always and I insisted it didn’t taste as good. The conversation ended there.
Then I came across the following article and everything started to make sense. From the Daily Finance:
Reuters is reporting that many of America’s major brands have been quietly tweaking their coffee blends. While most coffee companies consider their blends trade secrets, and are loath to disclose exactly what goes into them, both circumstantial and direct evidence suggests they’re now substituting lower-grade Robusta beans for some of their pricier Arabica, and degrading the quality of our coffee.
Research out of agricultural bank Rabobank confirms that demand for Arabica beans among coffee buyers “has fallen 27% year-to-date, while Robusta [demand] is 25% higher.” This seems to confirm a widespread alteration of the bean mix.
Why the switcheroo? Prepare to not be shocked. The answer is: price.
Now here’s the kicker of the article.
When you get right down to it, if there’s more Robusta in our coffee but people still find it drinkable, and the coffee’s getting a bit cheaper in consequence, where’s the harm?
What’s the harm? I didn’t think whether coffee was “drinkable” or not was the point of drinking coffee. The harm is this is just another example of standards of living being eroded by inflation. Inflation that we are told doesn’t exist. Just another day in Oceania…
Full article here.
I wrote about this trend earlier in the year in the post Thought of the Day – The Incredible Shrinking Size of Sunscreen.