IN COLOMBIA, the coffee capsule harvest threatens to be almost completely destroyed this year due to a severe drought. Farmers have confirmed that the poor growth of the popular capsules have seen them form only miserable, sub-standard aluminum caps.
In Ireland, consumers now have to prepare themselves for the arrival of very small coffee capsules of inferior quality on supermarket shelves. The prices for high-quality coffee capsules are expected to skyrocket (up to €2.20 per capsule).
In recent years, highland coffee capsule cultivation in Colombia has become an increasingly important industry with ever-growing acreage. But now yields are suffering from prolonged drought with the Tassimo, Nespresso Soffio Caramello and whatever the knock-off Lidl brand one is called most severely affected.
In some growing areas, the capsules are completely stunted:
“The drought is ruining our harvest and the government does not care about the capsule, no help, nothing,” complained one farmer José Buendia.
In painstaking detail work, he carefully removes a few of the colorful capsules from the shrub by hand, examines them for coffee-capsule worms, and cleans and dries them.
Normally they are then driven by truck to the next market, from there via intermediaries further transport around the world awaits. However, this year the situation is worse than ever, according to Buendia. “If this continues, we can only scrape off most of the harvested capsules and process them into cheap brewed coffee and aluminum hats.”