Starbucks in India Stresses Out the Beans: Hot off the Griddle

Good morning, and welcome back to the Griddle, a menu of fortified items for the busy person's media diet. On today's menu: coffee, and lots of it. Starbucks plans to open its first store in India by August, becoming one of the first companies to take advantage of new rules opening the doors to foreign chains. The upside: an enormous new market where coffee consumption doubled in the last decade. The downside: increasing strain on already stressed supplies of specialty coffee beans. Rising temperatures and unusual rainfalls in Central South America have curtailed crops in recent years, a trend that's forecast to continue. As the global leader of easy-listening coffee shops puts it on its website: "In addition to increased erosion and infestation by pests, coffee farmers are reporting shifts in rainfall and harvest patterns that are hurting their communities and shrinking the available usable land in coffee regions around the world."

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