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GLT's Grow: Searching The World For Delicious Coffee

Coffee beans in a hand
Rick Bowmer
GLT's Grow is taking a little break from practical gardening advice to talk about growing that perfect cup of coffee.

That morning cup of coffee has a backstory.

In this edition of GLT's gardening podcast Grow, GLT's Mike McCurdy and Illinois State University’s Patrick Murphy talk about domestically produced beans and some of the trouble coffee growers are facing due to climate change.

  • Most of the world’s coffee comes from the equatorial region—places near the equator—especially Latin and South America. But there are some American producers too, including Hawaii and Puerto Rico. In California, growers are repurposing aged-out avocado groves to grow coffee instead. 
  • The growing location of a coffee bean is a key factor in how it will eventually taste as a drink. Another influencer is how it’s dried prior to roasting. Just be sure to double-check that label when buying something fancy. Murph says some sellers are falsely advertising as Kona (Hawaii) coffee, but the fine print says otherwise. 
  • You may have heard that using a wooden coffee stirrer reduces the drink’s acidity, or even absorbs some of the caffeine. That’s not really true, Murph says. But he says there is one unintended botanical consequence to consider: The white birch trees that are often cut down to make those stirrers don’t regenerate like, say, an aspen tree. They're gone forever.

Listen to this week’s full episode of GLT’s Grow:

GLT's Grow is your source for gardening advice and down-to-earth tips. Murph and Mike are ready to take on all your gardening questions, so submit yours today.

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Ryan Denham is the content director for WGLT and WCBU.