Starmaya. Centroamericano. H1. These are names those serious about their coffee should get to know, as hybrid varieties may be the coffees of the future.
Despite the abundance of specialty beans available today — familiar coffees include Arabica from Ethiopia, Colombia, Guatemala, and beyond — experts agree the coffee landscape is fundamentally changing.
Climate change threatens an existential disruption to the coffee industry with a veritable list of end-times plagues: heat, drought, floods, pests, and disease. As existing coffee breeds struggle in the extreme weather, prices will rise while Arabica varieties wane.
Farmers are now shifting their techniques. Many are adopting hardier hybrids like those mentioned above. But without a monumental reduction in global carbon emissions, shifts in America’s coffee supply could be a few bad harvests from collapsing.