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Dolly Parton's Taco Bell Date Night; Greece Hikes Taxes on Coffee, Booze

Five things to know today

Coffee pots at a cafe in Athens, Greece.
Coffee pots at a cafe in Athens, Greece.
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Hard times in Greece now mean a hefty tax on coffee. The Guardian reports cafes in Greece are now taxing coffee beverages by as much as 20 percent. Meanwhile, taxes on packaged foods, ice cream, and alcoholic drinks are rising up to 24 percent.

— In other coffee news, Starbucks is asking investors to cough up half a million dollars for sustainability projects. Fortune reports the coffee giant is selling $500 million worth of bonds with the express purpose of funding eco-friendly practices. It's all for a good cause: The company plans to use this money to buy coffee exclusively from farmers who follow Starbucks' Coffee and Farmer Equity Practices; develop and operate farmer support centers; and subsidize loans for farmers which help them manage risk and strengthen their businesses. But... doesn't Starbucks make enough money to do this on its own already?

— Fun fact: Date night with Dolly Parton often includes an RV and a drive-thru Taco Bell. Perhaps this is the real reason Taco Bell is trying to step up its in-store aesthetics?

— Chef Eric Ripert, of the NYT 4-star and Michelin 3-star restaurant Le Bernardin in New York City, releases his first memoir, 32 Yolks, today. Here's an exclusive excerpt.

— In other book news: A book about how vegetarianism ruins relationships just won the Man Booker International Prize.

— Today in the slow death of media, the BBC announced it was shutting down BBC Food and the recipe archives that go along with it. Of note: All recipes will be archived, and they won't be linked elsewhere or optimized for search, and so may be hard to find online. A petition to save the recipe site has been signed by over 100,000 people.

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