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WHAT THE FUCK is World Coffee Research Image Credit: Caffeine
WHAT THE FUCK is World Coffee Research Image Credit: Caffeine

What The Fuck ... Is World Coffee Research?

This global organisation’s work could be crucial to the future of coffee. Sierra Burgess-Yeo explains why – and how to get involved

Sierra Burgess-Yeo

It wasn’t too long ago that speciality coffee was a rare pleasure. But as consumption grows, it’s becoming more pressing to consider not just coffee’s origins and the collective effort taken to harvest such a special product, but its future.

“Research shows that demand for coffee is expected to double in the next 30 years, but over half of the coffee lands’ productive capabilities will be lost to climate change by 2050,” says Thomas Haigh, head of coffee at Tate (pictured). “As a crop, coffee is especially susceptible to the impacts of climate change because of its lack of diversity, making it an increasingly difficult crop to grow and maintain at production level. World Coffee Research (WCR) is working towards creating solutions to these problems.”

The science of coffee

WCR is a collaborative body working in cooperation with academic institutions, governments, NGOs and coffee organisations around the world. Its first aim is to focus on the science of coffee, creating a database of varieties, genetic resources and relevant technologies, producing resources such as the WCR Sensory Lexicon and the Arabica Variety Intelligence catalogue, and developing hybrid varieties

By disseminating this information across all collaborating producer countries, WCR can enable producers to equip their crops for environmental challenges that threaten quality, stability and longevity. Their work helps far


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