The sagging prices of oil and precious metals have some investors panicking. As it turns out, they can perk up their portfolios without having to look much farther than their morning latte. What's been bad news for coffee growers -- namely, drought and fungus leading to lower coffee yields -- turns out to be better-than-expected news for investors. Coffee futures have fallen to $1.65 per pound from an October high of $2.29 per pound, but that still translated to coffee prices outstripping everything else on the futures exchange, from crude to cattle. While production in 2015 is expected to meet demand, a number of factors point to the possibility of price spikes in both the short term (Brazil's drought is still severe) and the long term (as climate change and geopolitical change stand to introduce uncertainty).
We covered Dave Asprey's "Bulletproof Coffee" recently in this space, and I mentioned that I liked the taste, but was skeptical of the health claims. As it turns out, I'm not alone in liking the taste, nor am I alone in my skepticism. Fast Company's Chris Gayomali (whose in-depth review of the stuff is here) reports on Gizmodo's fact-laden takedown of Bulletproof Coffee (the Gizmodo article is here). The short version: as with anything else that makes extravagant claims for its health benefits, "caveat emptor" is a useful watchword.
The Coffee... Crime Blotter?!?
If you thought legendary barista Tim Wendelboe was serious about his coffee, you ain't seen nothing yet. Thieves broke into Tim's Oslo-based shop, passing over the top-of-the-line espresso machines, the rare books, and even his solid gold Aeropress trophies, making a beeline for the rare coffees displayed on the shop's display counter. What's even more bizarre is that this isn't even the first time this has happened; a similar incident took place at the Bergen Kaffebrenneri in 2013, with the only significant difference being that the thieves in that case also took off with the store's stash of cheesecakes (disclaimer: can't blame 'em -- coffee and a good cheesecake is a definite guilty pleasure) (further disclaimer: I've never been to Norway).
Mind Your Coffee P's and Q's
Finally, closing out on a semi-humorous note, The 10 Rules Of Coffee Shop Etiquette Your Barista Wishes You'd Follow — For Everyone's Sake, courtesy of bustle.com. I've seen several articles on bar etiquette over the years, but I'm glad to see one that covers coffee shops. That's partly because my coffee consumption far outstrips my alcohol use, and partly because some of the behavior I've seen in coffee shops -- where, I can only hope, the patrons are sober -- is cringe-inducing. The tongue-in-cheek tone aside, if you're a regular at a cafe or coffee shop, you owe it to yourself (and your favorite baristas) to give this article a once-over. I couldn't agree more with number 5; people who don't bus their own tables in cafes is a rather enormous pet peeve of mine.Image Credits:Futures graph: finviz.comTim Wendelboe's shop: http://instagram.com/timwendelboe/
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