Brazil has currently been experiencing periods of drought and more recently torrential rainfall. The result in improper growth of the coffee trees and fruit. It reamians to be seen how this will effect the market in the coming months and crop year. Some brokers see a sharp rise in prices. Others feel that the areas effected are not so alrge, and that the coffee surplus production is so huge, that it will not have a big impact on the New York C index.
But here are current (as of 1/6/00) first-hand images that have been sent through friends over the internet to document the crop devastation.
These pictures are of more general interest too. They show that good coffee is the product of a lot of hard work and of freindly weather. They prove the old coffee addage," if Brazil sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold." And they remind you that coffee is a crop, not a package on the shelf. As you, Mr and Mrs Home Roaster, get closer to the crop by buying green coffee and roasting it yourself, you will appreciate all the contingencies involved in that great cup. And hopefully it will bring you closer to the rest of the world in a very small but very tangible way...
Below: Brazilian arabica coffee plant with one an a half normal branches ...can you find them?
Hmmm.... something is missing here but I can't seem to put my finger on it...
Fallen unripe coffee cherry
NOT what a coffee tree should look like...
If this wasn't bad enough, hard rainfall stripped remaining unripe coffee cherries from the tree!
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