Exactly how competitive is the coffee market right now? Companies like Nespresso and Blue Bottle are going into conflict zones, like in South Sudan, to source specialty beans. Blue Bottle, for example, sold its limited amount of coffee from Yemen for a whopping $173 a pound.
For these “hipster” coffee brands, this offers bragging rights and a good branding opportunity: As the Financial Times notes, “[t]he frontier coffee regions also offer roasters exciting ‘narratives’ through which they can appeal to coffee drinkers.”
But as problematic as that is, there is an opportunity to do some good, as they can potentially “lift the livelihoods of war-torn areas through coffee growing.” That is, if someone in a fedora doesn’t do something stupid first.