The Quest for a Well-Adjusted Bean

Coffee, like all agricultural crops, is dependent on the weather for successful harvest seasons. Unfortunately, the weather is not controllable and often does not cooperate to optimize every crop’s output. If they can’t control the weather, researchers hope they can at least develop a coffee plant that can defy uncooperative weather, adapt to it and flourish. Ipp Media ran a story on July 6 about a research firm in Tanzania which is doing the weather-beating investigation. The coffee being sought must be flexible and resilient in order to adjust to changing weather conditions. Don’t hold your breath though - the researchers say it could take up to thirty years to bring such a coffee plant up and running. They are also looking for seeds that will resist disease and create higher yields. If the researchers can succeed, the coffee industry in Tanzania is hoping to take advantage of its good reputation and the current respect for its coffees to capture a larger part of the world market. The dream is to increase “Tanzanian coffee… competitiveness globally, increasing incomes, taming poverty by improving the livelihoods of coffee growers, and generally building the nation…… to emerge as Africa’s biggest coffee producer instead of trailing Ethiopia, Ivory Coast and Uganda.” A weather-defying super coffee that bends not to the mercy of droughts and floods would indeed change the current coffee production climate. Competition can only help prices, as increased demand and disappointing crops in some areas are helping to drive up the price of our daily coffee enjoyment. Tanzania is definitely a region to watch, and hopefully, the growers will have good news of some kind before the thirty years is up. Want to taste some Tanzanians? Below are two single origins and one blend. Enjoy!

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