When researchers at the American Physical Society were studying energy transformation, they figured out that an 80 decibel scream (as loud as a running garbage disposal) could heat coffee to 122 degrees Fahrenheit. The scream just needs to last for 1 year, 7 months, 26 days, 20 hours, 26 minutes and 40 seconds.
But, during these months of lockdowns, it could be more helpful to know some (other) coffee facts.
The Coffee Supply Chain
According to Reuters, some U.S. coffee roasters are worried that coronavirus quarantines will slow bean deliveries.
The late April-beginning of May harvest could be a problem. Because of limited mechanization, Central and South American growers depend on farm labor for planting, pruning, harvesting, and processing. However, the coronavirus might impact the labor supply. In Colombia, a 19-day quarantine could be affecting the ability of 150,000 workers to travel where they’re needed.
From there, shipping also could upset the supply chain. Air capacity is down, there are crew shortages, and exporters are coping with fewer empty freight containers for one-way trips. Add to that the possibility of quarantined ports and you have accelerating uncertainty.
Roasters have responded to the uncertainty with accelerated orders. Whether it’s the U.S., Japan, or Germany, the common plea is to get more into the country faster in case the pandemic clogs transport links.
Our Bottom Line: Uncertainty
When economists refer to uncertainty, they mean just what we would expect. They are thinking of an inability to forecast the likelihood of an event. Economists care about uncertainty because they believe it can influence consumer spending and business investment. Uncertainty can have a very real impact on economic growth.
One group of economists created an Uncertainty Index based on words in newspapers that relate to uncertainty and the economy. They also quantify regulations that could change. And lastly, they check for economic forecasting disagreement.
As you would expect, U.S. uncertainty is spiking:
I too am experiencing coffee uncertainty. I just ordered two five-pound bags of my favorite Waypoint coffee beans from Compass Coffee roadsters.
My sources and more: Reuters had the facts on our coffee supply reaction to the pandemic while WSJ had the research on heating coffee. But you might just enjoy (as did I) looking at the uncertainty index for different countries. And finally, if you really care about coffee, this new book sounds excellent.
Please note that several parts of today’s post were published previously at econlife and, our featured image is from Pixabay.