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Coffee Crisis Could Threaten Hipster Specialty Blends


The dramatic plunge in coffee prices has gotten so bad that it’s threatening to claim its next victim: the specialty blends used by fancy coffee shops and discerning home brewers.

On the futures market, arabica coffee – the smoother variety favored by companies like Starbucks Corp. – is languishing near a 13-year low. Growers in Brazil, the world’s biggest exporter and producer, have expanded output and become more efficient, collecting more beans for every planted acre. The result is a huge glut that’s sent prices below break-even in many countries, sparking fear producers will leave the industry.

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