Ah yes, coffee. Yesterday I wrote about tea, the worlds favorite beverage and mine, so why am I writing about coffee today when I don’t even like it? Because coffee is the favorite beverage of the United States. According to Market Watch website in 2016 the per capita consumption of coffee in the U.S. was 88.8 gallons, far beyond other beverages like soda or tea. That’s a lot of coffee. It indicates just how much Americans love it. And of course because we love our coffee so much there are a zillion different ways to make and enjoy it. On the Home Grounds website there is an impressive list of different brewing methods, including, Espresso, Areo press, French press, Percolator, Drip, Pods, Moka Pot, Vacuum Pot, Chemex and Hario V60, etc. (Hario V60?) And of course there are dozens of ways to drink coffee such as Cappuccino, Latte, Caffe Macchiato, and more. Stop in to any Starbucks or Caribou Coffee shop and you’ll find a dizzying array of choices. Such is our obsession with coffee.
According to what I’ve read, no one now knows when coffee, the drink, was discovered. But it probably began in Ethiopia and spread from there. By the 15th century coffee was grown and traded in what is now the country of Yemen. From there, it spread all over the world. One of the reasons why people love coffee so much is because of the high caffeine content. A cup of Joe first thing in the morning and you’re ready to go. And if you really want to jack yourself up in the morning, try cold press coffee. We love our coffee with caramel and whipped cream and lots of other stuff. Ever try Arabic coffee? Arabic coffee is unfiltered and boiled. It’s really bitter. Whatever your tastes are, there’s a coffee out there for you.
One thing I forgot to mention in my article about tea, is the idea of Terroir, (tehr·waar). Whether you’re growing wine grapes, coffee or tea, the soil, air quality, climate and water quality are all involved in the quality of the final product. That’s Terroir. And it means that coffee grown under various conditions can have widely different taste. Add to that the type of roasting that’s done to the beans and it means your choices seem endless. And why not? We love choices. (Just go to your local store and try to buy toothpaste sometime.)
And of course, the coffee industry is huge. Many Americans spend thousands of dollars each year on coffee. A couple websites I visited said Millennial’s spend more on coffee than they do on retirement plans. It really does seem to be an obsession. As with any, “industry” there are drawbacks. The coffee industry creates an enormous amount of waste each year. All of the paper cups, plastic cups, plastic lids, stir sticks, and straws, and filters and plastic pods get thrown away. And it doesn’t appear to be slowing down. More coffee shops are opening all the time.
And so America loves coffee. I however, have never acquired a taste for it. And I certainly don’t want any of those fru fru drinks with whipped cream and chocolate chips and all the other stuff they put into them. Just give me a nice cup of black tea with some honey in it and I’ll be fine.