How can you tell the economic downturn is hitting Europe hard? The stockpile of arabica beans, which are premium and priced high, are rising. Those are the beans used primarily by cafés and restaurants. The supply of cheaper, less desirable robusta beans, on the other hand, are in decline—and the inverse is true when it comes to their respective futures. What this means, as the Wall Street Journal recently pointed out, is that cafés throughout Southern Europe are witnessing a drop in customers:
“Since the beginning of the year most of our regulars cut their coffees from around four to two a day,” said Luigi Cinquini, owner of a café in the center of Milan. “Sometimes, instead of getting a cappuccino or other types of more expensive coffees, they just have an espresso. This is the effect of the crisis.”
Once they turn to instant coffee, we will know the end of the world is upon us.