Bad News For Coffee Drinkers

I have some terrible news for you, coffee drinkers of the world: Coffee consumption is on the rise. Why is that so awful? Well, it wouldn't be, if it weren't for this little thing called supply and demand. Due to a number of factors, coffee growers may soon have difficulty keeping up with the amount of beans required to fuel the world's fondness for the caffeinated brew… which might result in some terrifyingly expensive prices not too far down the line. Gather ye lattes while ye may, because, as Grub Street notes, they might cost you eight bucks in the future.

The Wall Street Journal reports that, according to the International Coffee Organization, demand for coffee is expected to rise nearly 25 percent over the next five years. Right now, the figure for the world's total demand is at 141.6 million bags of beans at a weight of 132 pounds each; by 2020, it'll probably be more like 175.8 million. What accounts for the rise? A lot of things, but ICO Executive Director Roberia Silva chalked it up largely to the continued westernization of areas like India, China, and Latin America.

Unfortunately, though, the drink's skyrocketing popularity couldn't come at a worse time. Last year was difficult enough, what with the droughts and floods in Brazil (which, by the way, is the world's number one coffee grower) and the fungus known as coffee rust hitting Central America; that's why your iced coffee got so dang expensive over the summer, remember? Weather woes are expected to continue impacting global coffee production, with the number being likely to drop from 146.7 million bags produced last year to 141 million bags this year. What this all ultimately adds up to is this: Pretty soon, there will be more demand for coffee than there will be coffee beans to meet it, which means that your daily cup of joe is about to get a heck of a lot pricier.

But hey, it's not all bad; look at it as a way to expand your horizons. Coffee isn't the only way to get your caffeine fix — and you could even use the lack of java as an excuse to ween yourself off of caffeine in the first place. How about giving one of these coffee alternatives a shot?

1. Black Tea

Black tea has a pretty high caffeine content: About 47 mg in an eight-ounce cup. True, it's about half the amount found in an eight-ounce cup of coffee (which clocks in at about 95 mg) — but it'll still give you the boost you need.

2. Tea Latte

If you really can't do without your milky, foamy, sweetened drinks, different types of teas can make for a latte just as good as an espresso one. You're probably already familiar with chai and green tea lattes; however, I'd also suggest giving what's called a London fog latte a shot. It uses Earl Grey, which sounds a little counter-intuitive (milk in a cup of Earl Grey? Surely not!) — but add in a little vanilla extract and you've got heaven in a cup.

3. Mate

Allow me to explain, Crying Claire Danes. As Bustle's Sara Spruch-Feiner noted back in November, mate isn't technically a tea since it doesn't come from the camellia sinensis plant. It is, however, delicious. I was gifted a tin of Teavana's MateVana one year for Christmas, and you guys? It's amazing. It describes itself as “tea for coffee drinkers”; also, it tastes like chocolate. Yum.

4. Hot Water with Lemon

Some people swear by it as the best way to get yourself going in the morning. You can also add a dollop of honey for a little dose of sweetness.

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