Coffee Culture

 
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by Abigail W., Concordia Applied Journalism

Tall, short, strong, or sweet, coffee has them all and more. Just like us, there are so many varieties for what could be, “the perfect cup of coffee.” So well there is no right or wrong way to make the popular drink, each country and culture has its own preference. As for many people, this versatile beverage is needed in their daily lives.

In fact, www.coffeereasearch.org provides us with a static that claims 54% of the American population are coffee drinkers. It also determined that 3.1 cups are drunk in a single day per person in the U.S. alone, by both men and women alike.

What is it about this drink that has us hooked and some, not able to function without? (Other then the caffeine of course.) Where did this staple drink first make its name on our globe? When seeking the origins of this first cup, the most commonly told legend tells of a goat herder, Kaldi, living in Ethiopia. Kaldi discovered the energetic properties of the bean when feeding some to his goats one night. Apparently, the goats were unable to sleep and they bounced energetically until morning. Kaldi spread the fruits of his powerful discovery to his friend living in the local monastery, who was grateful for them as they kept him awake during the prayer hours. Word of the magic beans apparently traveled through the monastic community until it found its way to Arab countries. Enthusiastic and newly energized, traders would take coffee even further across the globe through trade.

When seeking the origins of this first cup, the most commonly told legend tells of a goat herder, Kaldi, living in Ethiopia.

In fact, www.coffeereasearch.org provides us with a static that claims 54% of the American population are coffee drinkers. It also determined that 3.1 cups are drunk in a single day per person in the U.S. alone, by both men and women alike.

What is it about this drink that has us hooked and some, not able to function without? (Other then the caffeine of course.) Where did this staple drink first make its name on our globe? When seeking the origins of this first cup, the most commonly told legend tells of a goat herder, Kaldi, living in Ethiopia. Kaldi discovered the energetic properties of the bean when feeding some to his goats one night. Apparently, the goats were unable to sleep and they bounced energetically until morning. Kaldi spread the fruits of his powerful discovery to his friend living in the local monastery, who was grateful for them as they kept him awake during the prayer hours. Word of the magic beans apparently traveled through the monastic community until it found its way to Arab countries. Enthusiastic and newly energized, traders would take coffee even further across the globe through trade.

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Coffee then became the most popular morning beverage choice over alcohol, which was proved to slow down a person’s metal awareness - the exact opposite effect of coffee. Thus, coffee has left its mark on us, for many people the world over depend on it to enrich their quality of life on a daily basis.

Through a multitude of variations, coffee takes on a range of characteristics. So sit down, relax, grab a cup of coffee, we’ll take a deeper dive into the coffee community with these common coffee-linked themes:

Coffee and Customization

Whoever you are, there will always be an option for you found within the coffee universe.

As coffee is said to be the most customize-able drink there is! Its point-of-origin flavor subtleties, serving temperatures, roasting techniques, and adds-ins are only increasing in number as new coffee shops are built and discovered daily. One thing’s for sure: whoever you are, there will always be an option for you found within the coffee universe. For vegans, almond milk, coconut milk, and soy milk, are all optional customizations that can be considered in almost any high-end coffee shop. Additionally, unique flavor combinations for more adventurous people are offered by many well-known chains. These brands like Costa, and Starbucks even offer seasonal drinks and secret menus that have gotten many people buzzing in and out of their doors. Not only are these coffees all the rage, but there are even collectable cups that lure collectors during special limited seasons. This way, not only are your taste buds excited, but your eyes are captivated by the colors and designs of coffee fashion. There are even choices within coffee shops that have nothing to with coffee at all. Items like cakes, sandwiches, and mints are worthy pairings with whatever is in your cup. 

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Coffee and Connections

Nothing beats warming your stomach up with a quick cup of coffee, even more so when enjoyed with a close friend. That is why we often hear people saying to each other, “want to grab a cup of coffee and catch up?” or “want to come over for tea or coffee?”  

In fact, a friend of mine, Cayla, has an interesting story about going to a local well known and loved coffee shop. It gave her a lasting friendship that and continues to mean a lot to her. She recalls, “it was random the way we met, but since then Starbucks has become our regular weekend hangout.”

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 Coffee and Caffeine                                                  

With great power comes great responsibility and the same can be said about coffee. With each cup of caffeinated coffee, we are inviting a stimulant into our systems. The caffeine then replaces the adenosine in your brain, which is the chemical that is formed during the day to make you tired. Adenosine, is then removed by sleep, leaving you feeling more awake. However, caffeine replaces those adenosines which leads the brain to forming more receptors and then creating dependence so one can stay awake. So, coffee addiction is real – even though it’s literally in your head.

 

Coffee and Consumers                                        

 Ultimately, everyone has his or her own unique taste and style preference for this varied drink. With this in mind, it’s easy to notice how each order says a little something about the person and their personality. “Double shot espresso,” could tell us this person might be tried or busy or just plainly prefers strong flavours. Then there’s a “grande frappuccino with extra cream.” Does this indicate that this person isn’t such a fan of coffee, or maybe he or she is inclined to creamy and sweetly smooth flavours? There are also the adventurous people who ask for, “one of whatever is new on the menu.” It seems like there is a coffee drink for nearly everyone.

 

Are we revealed by our coffee choices?

See if you can match the Starbucks coffee order with its drinker.


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Abigail W., Concordia Applied Journalism

As a proud South African, I'm living my life in Shanghai, China while soaking up the culture and beauty around me. I love art, along with the art of story telling, and seeing things out of the box!