Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Coffee is still King

Before I begin, just wanted to wish all my readers a happy holiday season. I know it’s been awhile since my last post, but hopefully in the New Year, posts should pick up.

 Speaking of pick-ups, coffee (or specifically the abundance of coffee shops) is a strange thing to me. After getting a coffee urge this morning, I began to think about why we’ve become so obsessed about it.  Now maybe I’m a little late with my complaints and grievances about it, but seriously, I’m not sure why it’s been such a huge part of not just our mornings – but our day.

Maybe it’s just one of those 90’s trends that is here to stay (cue in Central Perk), but as a kid growing up in Park Slope (and now as an adult), I’ve seen the explosion of coffee shops in the neighborhood grow from one (which was really just a bakery), to approximately over 10-15 in the ‘hood today. And that’s not including the two (yes, only two!) Starbucks that sprouted up.

 Now I wasn’t born yesterday – I get why people like coffee. It’s easy to buy, it’s got massive amounts of caffeine in it, and generally cafés are a great place to hold meetings or hang out. But does anyone really like the taste of roasted seeds (yes, they’re really just seeds) brewed with hot water? Personally, I think without a little bit of milk and sugar, coffee would be one of the worst, bile, non-flavorful drinks in the world.

 So what’s our obsession with it? Are we willing to look past the taste for hot flavored water that will energize us in this 24-hour economy? Do we really like the taste of coffee (I know some do)? Is it addicting? (Yes).

 Funnily enough, right after I decided to rant about coffee today, I found out that The Wall Street Journal published a story citing some of the health benefits of the drink.

“An analysis in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that people who drink three to four cups of java a day are 25% less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than those who drink fewer than two cups,” WSJ reports. “And a study presented at an American Association for Cancer Research meeting found that men who drink at least six cups a day have a 60% lower risk of developing advanced prostate cancer than those who didn't drink any.”

Wow, only six cups a day? No wonder coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world. Wonder what’s #1?


Something to think about next time you buy that chai latté.

Thoughts? Do you actually like coffee? Feel free to leave a comment. If I get enough, I’ll publish some counterpoints.


  1. I think coffee is much like wine or beer... it's an acquired taste. There are four of us first-year men in my program. Two of them are late 30s with kids. I'm the only one who drinks coffee.

    If you're looking for an interesting read, I recommend Stewart Lee Allen's The Devil's Cup. Most of what I know about coffee, I learned from that book, and it's a great book because it's a travelog of the sociological history behind coffee.

  2. Chai latte isn't coffee! Its technically a tea blend, with milk. And my go to Starbucks drink, as a non-coffee drinker :)