Food & Drink

Brace yourself – the UK is running out of premium coffee

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Joe Ellison
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Coffee. Short of injecting its sweetly caffeinated goodness directly into our veins, we can’t get enough of it on these shores.

And therein lies the problem, because we’re running out of it - and fast…

Spilling the beans to The Telegraph, Jeffrey Young, managing director of the food and drink market analysts Allegra Group, forewarned that the “rising tide of quality that has been keeping this industry alive" may also be its downfall:

"This thirst for high quality coffee means that production is not keeping up with demand at a global scale so stocks have been declining. Britain is becoming a nation of coffee connoisseurs – like wine, people want to learn about how it's made and how to taste it.”

Yes, gone are the days where a few stodgy beans ground by some clumsy machine and a bit of milk would do it; with so many options for artisan coffee these days, expectations over taste have never been bigger, meaning consumers are not only drinking more cups of coffee, but each cup has a higher coffee content.

From high street operations to hipster-friendly barista bars, the number of coffee shops on these isles suprassed 20,000 last year, and the continuing rise in sales of domestic pod and espresso machines is also fuelling competition for first-rate beans.

According to experts this mounting demand could see supplies of top quality beans dry up in as little time as three to five years, thanks in part to global warming, which has already threatened a quarter of all output in Brazil - the world’s largest coffee producer. In the next year alone, it’s estimated there will be a deficit of 3.5m bags worldwide.

Forget the melting ice caps - if anything will make us all take a stand against climate change it's the all too worrying future where we won't be able to fulfill our two-a-day Skinny Caffe Mocha requirements.

[Images: Shutterstock]

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Joe Ellison

Joe is a writer and editor. Specialising in film, food, sport, current affairs, travel writing and adept at pilfering David Brent quotes, Joe describes himself as ‘basically a chilled out entertainer’. Follow Joe on Twitter: @Chevychased 

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