ST. PETERSBURG, Fla — Most of the world's coffee is grown in tropical climates, however changing weather patterns could allow coffee to grow in areas farther from the equator, like Florida.
National Coffee Day has the nation buzzing with deals and freebies from American coffee-drinker favorites like Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks, but the cup of coffee is probably not homegrown. The U.S. consumes and imports more coffee than any other country in the world, the U.S. Agriculture Department reports.
In a nation full of coffee lovers, the thought to grow it here in the U.S. has crossed the minds of many scientists.
This fall, researchers at the University of Florida began growing coffee plants at the University's UF/IFAS Plant Science Research and Education Unit with hopes to "one day produce a morning cup of joe with origins in the Sunshine State."
Scientists are studying how the plants' roots handle the Florida climate.
"At present, the world knows very little about coffee plant roots, their architectures and their function under climate change conditions," Diane Rowland, chair of the agronomy department and UF/IFAS’ research lead on the project, said. "The roots are key points in this process."
If the plants can flourish, Florida could potentially join the coffee-growing community.
Similarly, but a little further along, California is looking into domestic coffee farming, USA Today reports. There are over 70 coffee farms led by Frinj Coffee founder Jay Ruskey across central and southern California researching the potential for coffee born in the U.S.A.
Until recently, Hawaii was the only state to grow coffee.