MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Scientists warn that your morning cup of joe could be in jeopardy as climate change threatens coffee plants around the globe. However, researchers think they may have found a solution.
Dr. Aaron Davis is a botanist at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.READ MORE: Do You Recognize This Man? FBI Releases Photos Of Miami Bank Robbery Suspect
“We’re seeing, throughout the tropical coffee belt, increasing temperatures, but also more erratic rainfall and increased drought,” he said.
Arabica beans make up more than half of the world’s coffee, but scientists predict production could shrink by 50% in 30 years. So, the search is on for a future-proof plant.
Jeremy Torz is co-founder of Union Hand-Roasted Coffee.
“What we want is a tree that’s relatively compact, that is drought resistant, that is climate tolerant and can give us a good yield with good flavor attributes,” he said.
In the dense tropical rainforests of West Africa, the coffee crisis may have found its savior: Little black berries of the rare stenophylla plant.READ MORE: Liana Wallace On 'Survivor' All-Black Alliance Falling Apart: 'Just Wanted Us To Make Top 8, Then We Can Have World War II''
“Importantly, stenophylla can grow and can crop under much higher temperatures than arabica coffee,” said Dr. Davis.
The crucial coffee test is of course will it keep you going? But also, it’s gotta taste good, and researchers say stenophylla delivered.
“It tasted fantastic,” Dr. Davis said. “It had a good body, good aroma, it had sweetness, it had complexity.”
Apart from robust flavors, it’s crucially a robust plant.
“If we’re interested in generating the coffees of the future, this is a really important little plant,” Dr. Davis said.MORE NEWS: Man Wins $1 Million On Scratch-Off Lottery Ticket Gifted To Him After Heart Surgery
According to the National Coffee Association, six out of 10 Americans drink coffee every day, with most enjoying more than three cups.