Even if this is an era of resource crunches, this particular impending shortage will ruin more moods than any other. For two years now, coffee harvests in Brazil, Colombia and Costa Rica have been weaker than expected; earlier this summer, Arabica coffee futures jumped to a 13-year high, and a Macquarie Group report predicts an “acute" shortfall. In the medium term, this shortage is expected to percolate down to the consumer, in terms of a steeper price per cup. It is the sort of caffeine high no addict would want.

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