The coffee is stacked three sacks deep at Black Coffee Roasters, not far from the roasting machine. The scent of freshly brewed coffee fills the air, coupled with the din of early morning banter.
But in the coming years, the cost of those beans and that morning cup of Joe could begin to rise as climate change shrinks the world’s coffee growing regions. And that holds implications for both coffee drinkers in Missoula and those who’ve built a business around the coveted bean.
“This is not a preordained conclusion, but yet the threats are real,” said Skye Borden, state director of the Research and Policy Center at Environment Montana. “The coffee growers are experiencing the same thing we’re experiencing here with extreme weather. Variable weather is really challenging for a perennial crop like coffee beans.