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Millennials' Love of Coffee Could Contribute to a Global Shortage

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Whether it’s the rise of hookup culture or the death of the napkin industry, Millennials are used to taking the blame. Now, it looks like a global coffee shortage could be the latest problem traced back to 19- to 34-year-olds. As Bloomberg reports, young people’s coffee-drinking habits are driving up global demand to record heights

Outlets have been reporting a looming coffee bean shortage all year, and the situation is growing increasingly dire. Since dry weather in Brazil has slowed the country’s crop of Robusta beans used for instant coffee, more companies have turned to Arabica beans as an alternative. But suppliers are struggling to keep up with the demand: During the last week in October, Arabica coffee prices in New York surged to their highest point in 20 months.

Demand for coffee in the U.S. is on its way to reaching record-breaking numbers, and Millennials’ taste for the beverage is contributing to the problem. The generation accounts for roughly 44 percent of the country’s total coffee consumption. According to the National Coffee Association, 48 percent of people aged 18 to 24 and 60 percent aged 25 to 39 drink coffee on a daily basis. Coffee drinkers are also developing the habit earlier in life, with Millennials born after 1995 starting up before age 15 (for comparison, average Millennials on the older end of the spectrum started drinking coffee at age 17).

The pressure Millennials are putting on the industry isn’t limited to the coffee-loving U.S. Markets like Brazil and China are also feeling the effects of their younger populations’ java cravings. Fortunately, stockpiles of unroasted coffee beans can provide coffee companies with a temporary cushion in case demand doesn’t slow down—which it doesn’t appear to be doing any time soon. In the meantime, Millennials might consider cutting down their coffee consumption with some alternative caffeine sources.

[h/t Bloomberg]

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Why You Might Not Want to Order Tea or Coffee On Your Next Flight
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A cup of tea or coffee at 40,000 feet may sound like a great way to give yourself an extra energy boost during a tiring trip, but it might be healthier to nap away your fatigue—or at least wait until hitting ground to indulge in a caffeine fix. Because, in addition to being tepid and watery, plane brew could be teeming with germs and other harmful life forms, according to Business Insider.

Multiple studies and investigations have taken a closer look at airplane tap water, and the results aren’t pretty—or appetizing. In 2002, The Wall Street Journal conducted a study that looked at water samples taken from 14 different flights from 10 different airlines. Reporters discovered “a long list of microscopic life you don’t want to drink, from Salmonella and Staphylococcus to tiny insect eggs," they wrote.

And they added, "Worse, contamination was the rule, not the exception: Almost all of the bacteria levels were tens, sometimes hundreds, of times above U.S. government limits."

A 2004 study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that water supplies on 15 percent of 327 national and international commercial aircrafts were contaminated to varying degrees [PDF]. This all led up to the 2011 Aircraft Drinking Water Rule, an EPA initiative to make airlines clean up. But in 2013, an NBC investigation found that at least one out of every 10 commercial U.S. airplanes still had issues with water contamination.

Find out how airplane water gets so gross, and why turning water into coffee or tea isn’t enough to kill residual germs by watching Business Insider’s video below.

[h/t Business Insider]

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This Concrete Block Makes a Fine Espresso
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Montaag

Have you ever thought your kitchen could use more of a Soviet Union vibe? Do you find the fixtures in abandoned buildings charming? Then the AnZa espresso machine—essentially a coffee maker encased in a concrete block—may be for you.

According to Curbed, the AnZa is part of the art and installation aesthetic dubbed Brutalism, an architectural movement using spare, blocky designs. Moving away from the sleek, shiny appearance of most modern appliances, design firm Montaag crafted a rough block with simple knobs. As post-apocalyptic as it may look, it’s reputed to make a very good cup of espresso. And it’s “smart”: a smartphone app can adjust the brewing temperature to the user’s preference.

A close-up of the AnZa's knob
Montaag

The project’s Kickstarter recently met its $145,000 goal and is now accepting preorders at Indiegogo for $799. You can hoist this subjectively beautiful appliance on your countertop beginning in March 2018.

[h/t Curbed]

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