The more than $100 billion a year coffee industry is dominated by Arabica and Robusta coffee varieties. Robusta is a cheaper variety that is easier to grow and resist diseases, and mainly cultivated in Indonesia, India, Uganda, Ecuador, Vietnam and several other countries. It has a harsher taste than the more refined Arabica variety and therefore, used mainly in instant coffee varieties. Arabica is mainly grown in Latin American nations of Brazil, Costa Rica, Colombia, Peru, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. Mexico and African countries such as Ethiopia and Kenya also produce sizable amount of Arabica coffee. Many of US coffee outlets including Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, McDonald’s and others mainly serve Arabica variety.
Coffee is very sensitive to climate. Climate change is making the life more difficult for world famous Arabica varieties that are grown in higher elevations of 3,500 to 6,000 above sea level. Leaf rust fungus known as Hemileia vastatrix and diseases prompted by changing climate threatening the Latin American coffee industry more than ever. Diseases cut into very little profits that many farmers get from growing coffee. Many chains in the US own farms especially in Latin American countries and investing substantial capital to develop disease resistant coffee varieties or to improve the resistance of existing varieties.