Gather around, procrastinators. It’s time for another hit of pointless and awesome facts you never asked for but will thank us for regardless. Ever wondered why that cup of coffee sitting on your desk is so expensive? We’ll tell you why.
There’s also a new dating app which matches people based on the things they hate. And if you’re married you’ll be glad to know there’s special ‘husband pods’ popping up all over China to save you from the banalities of a shopping fiend of a partner.
Why Is Coffee So Damn Expensive
You may think that $3.50 – $4 a day puts a bit of a dent in your weekly budget and you may just be right. Although there’s a good reason for that and it’s more complicated than many think. Chow Hound spills the beans.
It’s a risky business: Coffee is a volatile industry with plants that can be both delicate and vulnerable in the face of high demand and uncertainty in coffee bean growth. As an incentive to those risks, the price of coffee is usually higher to compensate those parties willing to take part in the unstable coffee trade. That includes coffee farmers, roasters, and baristas.
Less is always more: With climate change comes the shrinking of average farm sizes and shifting of harvest season. Add to this the factors of labor shortages due to immigration, industrialisation and low wages along with political or cultural unrest and you have the perfect coffee storm which can halt production. Supply and demand, people.
Many hands make craft: There’s a common belief that every coffee bean is handled by over 30 pairs of hands before it reaches your favourite cafe. Besides the usual grower, picker, barista and drinker, there are a multitude of other important middle persons who help to drive up the cost. Think quality control people, the people who rake out the beans for drying in the sun, those who fill bags and lug them to shipping containers.
Coffee is a luxury item: Say what? Believe it. Like Coke, humans don’t need coffee to survive. The end game is that money needs to be used to convince farmers to continue creating coffee crops as opposed to crops which can feed the population for survival.
You’re a coffee snob: Don’t deny it. You love sitting in immaculately furnished cafes complete with hanging wall gardens and industrial tones. That’s all out of the pocket of the cafe owner and they need to make a living too, so…self-explanatory.
Specialty coffee isn’t expensive, mass-produced coffee is just cheap: Mass produced coffee of mediocre quality is cheaper to make than small portions of specialty coffee. The good stuff you seek (which you won’t find in 7-11) tastes different and is sourced with the utmost care. The conclusion – higher prices.
Apps which match you and a partner based on mutual interests? Pfft. Hater is the latest dating app which can match you with partners based on mutual hates. Hate long walks on the beach? There could be someone out there for you.
Whilst some may argue that basing a relationship on hate isn’t a good idea, there’s been studies which prove otherwise. On top of that, the developers have reassured the public that the app is not fuelled by negative behaviour which could draw out some the world’s worst people. Instead, Hater curates its own topics of hate including things such as “V-necks” and “Vladimir Putin”. If things get nasty, it’s a one strike and you’re out policy.
Haters, it’s time to become lovers.
Husband Storage Pods
Husbands with wives who shop profusely now have a reprise – husband pods. Introduced into Chinese shopping malls, these “husband storage” facilities help bored husbands kill time as their partners shop in peace.
Inside every pod is a comfy chair, monitor, computer and gamepad so that men can keep themselves occupied with retro video games from the 90s. The pods are currently free but staff say that in the future users will need use a QR code to pay a small fee for entry into the pods.
Whilst some early guinea pigs were impressed by the games selection, others were a a bit more critical in highlighting that there was no ventilation or air-conditioning. No news yet on whether the service will roll out across the world.
Growing Cucumbers In Space Just Got Real
Humans are now one step closer to Matt Damon’s dream of gardening on Mars. Sort of. Scientists have just grown cucumbers during spaceflight, defeating the notion of gravity’s effect on water and plant roots.
Specifically speaking, plant roots grow to seek water whilst moving downwards. To test this, researchers grey cucumbers in a microgravity environment on board the ISS. What does that mean? Space food.
Whilst we’re still a long way from eating lab-grown wagyu beef 100km above the Earth, it’s a step in the right direction for the future of food produce.
“We will be able to utilise roots’ ability to sense moisture gradients for controlling root growth orientation and efficiently growing plants in future space farms,” said Dr Hideyuki Takahashi, senior author of the study.
The dressing you’ll need to supply yourself.