Coffee fungus raising prices of high-end blends

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WASHINGTON, DC – If you thought your first world problems were hard enough, old sport, hold on to your cappuccino: it looks like the prices of high-end coffee blends are about to soar.

Blame the fungus. The so-called coffee rust, or “Roya” as it’s known in Spanish, has already caused $1 billion in damage across Latin America, where the expensive coffee comes from. The infection is no joke for over 500,000 poor farmers in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama and Costa Rica, who could lose their jobs.

The U.S. is said to be stepping up efforts to help the region, out of concerns that the devastation could escalate poverty and violence. Coca plants seem to be the preferred substitute for coffee, every time crops fail. So now you know: if satisfying your exquisite palate costs a little bit more, tough it out… or have it decaf, so you don’t get too agitated.