Thursday, January 26, 2012

We're a nation of coffee addicts!

An article in National Geographic titled 'How Coffee Changed America' has all sorts of interesting information. Here's a brief excerpt.

Coffee ... has a rich cultural history, both in areas where it is grown and in the wider world. Prized seeds were smuggled into remote jungles to jumpstart illicit plantations, and coffeehouses evolved as centers for alternative gatherings. The coffeehouse has often become a lightning rod for debate about globalization, corporate responsibility, and local ownership. (Activists picketing the first Starbucks in my college town once screamed, “Is your coffee worth it?” at me, although they looked bewildered when I told them I had ordered hot chocolate. A week later the large glass windows of the storefront were smashed.)

There's more at the link, along with a very interesting infographic providing all sorts of facts and figures - for example, that US coffee consumption went up by no less than 700% (!) from 1995 to 2000, almost exclusively as a result of the rise of coffee houses like Starbucks.

I'm more of a tea drinker (the fruits of a colonial heritage, I'm afraid), but I've learned to enjoy a good cup of coffee. Trouble is, thanks to getting to know Miss D. and her Alaskan friends, I've never tasted a finer cup of coffee than that served by Kaladi Brothers in that state. It makes Starbucks coffee look (and taste) like dishwater by comparison! Definitely something I miss . . . I'm going to have to import some Kaladi's 'Red Goat' blend for my lower 48 friends! If you haven't tried it yourself, I recommend it unreservedly. (And no, they're not compensating me to advertise for them: I just like their coffee!)


EDITED TO ADD: I've just read that US workers spend about $1,000 per year on coffee as a 'work-related expense'! That seems a bit mind-boggling, until you remember that it costs up to $3 for a cup of coffee-house java (it varies from region to region, and by cup size, so that's an average). A specialty coffee (e.g. a latte, 'frappucino', etc.) can easily cost up to double that price; so that total amount translates to about one coffee every working day. Logical . . . but expensive! I think I'd rather take a jar of halfway decent instant coffee to work with me, and save the $1K for more important things!


BobG said...

I don't care much for Starbuck coffee, myself. I prefer grinding my own at home, and blending some on occasion. I usually have at least a half dozen types in the cupboard at any one time.

Rev. Paul said...

Kaladi is the BEST.

Cybrludite said...

"Halfway decent" and "instant coffee" really don't belong in the same sentence. I use a drip widget that goes over my mug at work.