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Health Fusion: Climate change may also change the taste of your morning Joe

Okay, coffee lovers, listen up. Growing conditions could be the key to the taste and smell of your favorite brew. And climate change could become a problem. That's the word from a new study. In this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion," Viv Williams looks at the data and possible ramifications.

Don't kill the messenger. I'm reporting on a study that I, being a true coffee enthusiast, find interesting.

A research review from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University and Montana State University shows coffee quality is vulnerable to shifts in environmental factors associated with climate change. But they also add that strategies to fight the issue look hopeful.

According to the researchers, many coffee-producing regions are already dealing with changing conditions and the resulting impact on coffee’s taste and aroma is as much a concern as yields and sustainability. Small farms make up a huge part of the growing industry and the economic impact on them could be significant. I imagine if people stop buying beans because they don't taste good, small farmers could really suffer.

The researchers say if they can understand the science behind the changes, they might be able to help farmers and others in the industry better manage production.

Let's dig into the study. Results from looking at 10 environmental factors from 73 published articles show that coffee grown at higher altitudes have better flavor and aroma, too much light can hurt coffee quality and that water stress and increased temperatures might also cause quality problems.


The researchers say efforts such as shade management, pest control and using climate resilient plants show promise and could help. And that, while more study is needed, the info they're learning is important for all crops, not just coffee.

The study is published in the journal Frontiers in Plant Science.

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For comments or other podcast episode ideas, email Viv Williams at . Or on Twitter/Instagram/FB @vivwilliamstv.

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