Four Letters Re: Coffee in a Post-Collapse Society

Sir:

In the recent article Coffee in a Post-Collapse Society, the author is talking about Arabica coffee being only cultivated near the equator. Robusto green coffee can be grown in the southern states like Florida, south Texas (same latitude as Cuba, a coffee producing country) basically any place that citrus can grow, Robusto coffee can grow. Robusto coffee can grow at low altitudes although it is not know for it’s high quality taste. Robusto coffee beans that are used mostly for instant coffee and a blend with Arabica beans in espresso for a creamier foam.

Yields for Robusto coffee are about 1-2 pounds per bush. For more information, visit the Talk About Coffee web site.

Coffee bean trees are sold as ornamental plants in the south. Available at nurseries that sell ornamental houseplants. Regards,. – M.B.

James Wesley:
Following the link in the coffee article to purchase a [hand-crank coffee] grinder, I found it was no longer available [from that vendor].  But I found the same model, Kyocera Ceramic Coffee Grinder (Model CM-50 CF), on Amazon.com for $5 less, and with free shipping. – Bobby S.

 

Jim,
I’m not sure that T.R.’s comment about most ground coffee in stores being allegedly stale is the most important consideration in a post-Schumer-hits-the-fan environment. I hardly think that in the midst of a major crisis, people will complain that they aren’t getting freshly-roasted coffee beans–most people who drink coffee will be happy to get any coffee at all, as long as it doesn’t taste like it’s been exposed to open air for an extended period of time. Having said that, just because coffee is already roasted and ground doesn’t mean it necessarily tastes subpar, except to “coffee snobs” who should be happy they’re getting coffee at all when Starbucks should be the least of their concerns. There is good coffee out there, it just takes a bit of personal research to find what you like.

My coffee of choice, Cafe Bustelo (which should be easy to find in most major grocery stores across the U.S., and it’s very common in the Southeast and especially in Florida), comes in vacuum-sealed steel cans that require a can opener to open them–none of those flimsy foil flaps that are so easy to puncture. Not only is it pretty darn hard to compromise the vacuum seal in a sealed steel can under most normal storage circumstances, but the Cafe Bustelo cans, being all metal, are also very handy as storage containers after the coffee is gone. And at less than $3.50 a can at Wal-Mart, it’s a pretty cheap barter and/or personal item to stock up on.

And if things get bad enough, coffee could also be a type of “currency” that can buy you protection or get you out of a dangerous situation. I know that a lot of people are uneasy about the thought of this sort of bribery, but if it helps save the lives of your family or loved ones in an already-bad situation, it’s worth it. I’ve been reading Martin Gilbert’s book “The Righteous: The Unsung Heroes of the Holocaust” and there are a number of accounts in the book of people in WW2 Europe doing whatever it took, even bribing officials with various items, to help save Jews and others. I think that given the economic Armageddon approaching the Western world, coffee will be just as valuable as it was in war-torn Europe. – S.C.

 

Hi Jim,

Just a note about today’s coffee post:

Coffee is a xanthine (same a theophylline, used to treat asthma). When I spent a year in rural Turkey (archeology dig), my allergist told me about using coffee for a vaso-dilator in a pinch. I found it helpful, and two Turkish coffees in the morning reduced my lung inflammation.   This was 25 years ago.

Here’s a link to more recent studies. Thanks for all you do.   Blessings, – Mary Beth

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