Coffee: it grows in California. We’ve been writing about it since 2010 (and again in 2011!), but a couple of weeks ago the New York Times got all worked up on the topic. Tucked away in this interesting-ish feature that you might as well click on—it’s worth one of your 10 free NYT articles this month, probably—is the following progression of paragraphs:
Jason Mraz, a Grammy-winning singer and songwriter known for his hit “The Remedy,” expects to produce his first significant coffee crop in about two years. “I started my career in a coffee house, and I love the coffee culture,” Mr. Mraz said. “I knew right away that California coffee could be special.”
So two years ago, he and his farm crew planted some 2,500 coffee bushes among the avocado groves on the 1,700 acres he farms near San Diego. Each plant’s roots had to be caged to protect them from gophers. The bushes were caged above ground, too, and then wrapped to insulate and protect their leaves — just planting them took three months.
Today, Mr. Mraz said, the bushes are waist high and producing a few coffee berries. Only a handful were lost, mostly to gophers, coyotes and wind.
He gets a variety of reactions when he tells people about his coffee venture, he said.
“In the 1960s, people didn’t think you could grow wine grapes in California, either,” Mr. Mraz said. “I like to let the coffee deniers I meet here know that not only is coffee growing well in California, it also has its own flavor profile — and right now, it’s one of the rarest coffees in the world.”
Jason Mraz, whose music has serenaded countless Starbucks entry scenes worldwide, may someday be the one growing your coffee. The frequently be-hatted troubadour’s biggest hits include “I’m Yours”, “Lucky”, and “The Remedy” (aforementioned), which remain soft pop mainstays on your mom’s car radio a decade plus after their original release.
On the topic of Jason Mraz growing coffee, I won’t worry my life away. (Hay, oh.) Jason Mraz can grow as much coffee as he wants, and our official take on the situation here at Sprudge is beefless, much like the plant-based diet Mraz enjoys and not dissimilar to the southern California vegetarian restaurant Cafe Gratitude, in which Mraz is an investor.
I only wish Mraz’s sonic contemporary John Mayer had found a similar post-Bush era agricultural hobby—growing activated charcoal or something, I don’t know—instead of ruining the Grateful Dead.
Jordan Michelman is a co-founder and editor at Sprudge Media Network. Read more Jordan Michelman on Sprudge Wire.
Top image courtesy of San Diego Magazine. (Mraz is the one in the hat.)
Jordan Michelman is a co-founder of Sprudge. His writing has appeared in T Magazine, The New York Times, Seattle Metropolitan Magazine, and Willamette Week.