I imagine that, like many other people, I am far more pleasant after I’ve had my first cup of coffee of the day. Considering I work in a newsroom — and journalists consume more coffee than people in any other profession, according to conventional wisdom and official studies — I’m surrounded by coffee-drinkers. Sure there’s comfort in ritual, but coffee culture has become so pervasive that it’s fair to say I’m rather suspicious of people who don’t drink it. "Hey, let’s grab a quick tea and chat about it," doesn’t sound quite right. "Let’s get a coffee" — now that has the ring of an ideal first date or a productive career move. Personal preferences aside, and no matter how consumers are getting their fix — pods or beans at home, artisanal creations in coffee shops or ready-to-drink cold brews — coffee is one of the strongest-growing categories in the food and drink sector. Consider this: more than $250bn has been spent on coffee deals over the past six years. This is because there has...

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