The Coffee Culture in the USA
Executive summary about The Coffee Culture in the USA y Remko de Knikker
This was not till We relocated towards the ALL OF US which i began consuming espresso frequently as well as grew to become exactly what these people get in touch with holland the 'koffieleut', that converts actually in to 'coffee socialite. a Even though typical Western beverages much more espresso each year compared to typical United states, the actual social significance and it is results about the typical Western appears to me personally scaled-down compared to which about the typical United states. In the end, espresso is really a social infatuation in the usa.
Chains with thousands of branches like Dunkin' Donuts or Starbucks dominate US daily street life. Especially in the morning (90% of coffee consumed in the US is in the morning), millions of white foamy cups with boldly imprinted pink and orange logos bob across the streets in morning rush hour and on the train. Coffee drive-ins are a saving grace for the rushing army of helmeted and tattooed construction workers. During lunch break, men and women in savvy business suits duck into coffee shops.
These days coffee is second only to oil as the most valuable (legally) traded good in the world with a total trade value of $70 billion. Interestingly, only $6 billion reaches coffee producing countries. The remaining $64 billion is generated as surplus value in the consumption countries. Small farmers grow 70% of world coffee production. They mainly grow two kinds of coffee beans: Arabica and Robusta. About 20 million people in the world are directly dependent on coffee production for their subsistence.
Table 1: production in 2002/3
country % 70% Arabica
Brasil 42.03% Arab/Rob
Colombia 8.88% Arabica
Vietnam 8.35% Robusta
Indonesia 4.89% Rob/Arab
India 3.74% Arab/Rob
Mexico 3.54% Arabica
Guatemala 3.1% Arab/Rob
Uganda 2.53% Rob/Arab
Ethiopia 2.44% Arabica
Peru 2.24% Arabica
Table 2: consumption in 2001/2world consumption % kg per capita (2001)
USA 30.82% Finland 11.01
Germany 15.07% Sweden 8.55
Japan 11.47% Denmark 9.71
France 8.89% Norway 9.46
Italy 8.59% Austria 7.79
Spain 4.90% Germany 6.90
Great-Brittain 3.63% Switzerland 6.80
the Netherlands 2.69% the Netherlands 6.48
Although the consumption of coffee per capita in the world is decreasing (in the US alone it decreased from 0.711 liter in 1960 to 0.237 liter presently), world consumption is still increasing due to the population explosion. Considering that coffee consists of either 1% (Arabica), 2% (Robusta) or 4.5%-5.1% (instant coffee) caffeine, the average American consumes at least 200 to 300mg (the recommended maximum daily amount) of caffeine a day through the consumption of coffee alone.
The place I frequent to down a cup of coffee is the Starbucks in Stamford, Connecticut. The entrance can be found on the corner of Broad Street and Summer Street, to the left to the main public library with its plain pediment and slim Ionic columns. The location right next to the library harmonizes with Starbuck's marketing plan. At the entrance of the coffee shop a life-size glass window curves around to the left, providing superb voyeuristic views of pedestrians on the sidewalk. As you enter, you step directly into the living room area with stacked bookshelves against the back wall. Velvet armchairs face each other with small coffee tables in the middle, creating intimate seating areas. The velvet chairs near the window are the prime seats, which people unfortunate to score a wooden chair prey upon. At the back of the long rectangular room is the coffee bar and a small Starbuck's gift shop. There is a dark wooden table with electrical outlets suited for spreading out laptops and spreadsheets, dividing the living room area from the coffee bar.
Since I have been cranky for weeks I hesitate to order a regular black coffee. It is very easy to get cloyed with a favorite food or drink in the US because of the super-sized portions served. The smallest cup of coffee is a size 'tall' (12oz.=0.35l.), after which one can choose between a 'grande' (16oz.=0.5l.) and a 'venti' (20oz.=0.6l.). Half a liter of coffee seems a bit over the top, and it sounds absolutely absurd to my European mind. I finally end up choosing a 'solo' espresso.
Seated within among the booth-like chairs from the back again walls, not able to acquire a perfect chair, We feign to see my personal guide whilst eavesdropping upon discussions close to in my experience. 3 middle-aged males sit down within 3 lung burning ash grey purple velvet seats as well as talk noisally. The vibrant conversation evolves, changed along with fifty percent roaring, fifty percent shrieking, fun. These people model the friend within their lack after which clench their own eyebrows within issue whilst talking about tooth associated with among the mens child. 2 African-American ladies sit down in a little desk reverse the actual reading-table within the murky gentle, one of these having a yellow-colored headscarf along with dark Africa motifs. Seated within among the booth-like chairs from the back again walls, not able to acquire a perfect chair, We feign to see my personal guide whilst eavesdropping upon discussions close to in my experience. 3 middle-aged males sit down within 3 lung burning ash grey purple velvet seats as well as talk noisally. The vibrant conversation evolves, changed along with fifty percent roaring, fifty percent shrieking, fun. These people model the friend within their lack after which clench their own eyebrows within issue whilst talking about tooth associated with among the mens child. 2 African-American ladies sit down in a little desk reverse the actual reading-table within the murky gentle, one of these having a yellow-colored headscarf along with dark Africa motifs. Near to the entry, within the with capacity of region alongside the actual cartoon discussion, the vagabond is actually actively playing solitaire. 1 by 1 he or she locations the actual creased credit cards along with curved shells more than each other, as though he or she efforts in order to stay all of them collectively. He or she made a few bucks as a swap for any little espresso in order to really feel, within the warmness from the living room, nostalgia for any comfortable family room as well as relives a feeling associated with closeness of getting your house.
It's a bright, sunny, early autumn day, a typical New England Indian summer. Sunbeams radiate through the coloring, flickering foliage, and throw a puzzle-shaped shadow into Starbuck's window. Autumn's hand turns her colorful kaleidoscopic lens. The green ash tree near the sidewalk resembles, with its polychrome colors, somewhat a bronze statue: its stem sulphur bronze, its foliage intermittently copper green and ferric-nitrate golden. On the other side of the cross walk the top of a young red oak turns fiery red. These are the budding impressions of the autumn foliage for which Connecticut is 'world famous' in the US.
In the world of marketing and entrepreneurship, Starbucks is a success story. It is one of those stories of 'excellence' taught as a case study at business school. Founded in 1971, it really began its incredible growth under Howard Schultz in 1985, and presently has 6,294 coffee shops. But what does its success really consists of? A large cup of coffee at Starbucks is much more expensive than at Dunkin' Donuts: $2.69 compared to $3.40 for a Starbucks' 'venti'. But while Dunkin' Donuts offers only a limited assortment of flavors like mocha, hazelnut, vanilla, caramel and cinnamon, you will find exotic quality beans at Starbucks like Bella Vista F.W. Tres Rios Costa Rica, Brazil Ipanema Bourbon Mellow, Colombia Nariño Supremo, Organic Shade Grown Mexico, Panama La Florentina, Arabian Mocha Java, Caffè Verona, Guatemala Antigua Elegant, New Guinea Peaberry, Zimbabwe, Aged Sumatra, Special Reserve Estate 2003 - Sumatra Lintong Lake Tawar, Italian Roast, Kenya, Ethiopia Harrar, Ethiopia Sidamo, Ethiopia Yergacheffe and French Roast. So Starbucks offers luxury coffees and high quality coffee dining, reminiscent almost of the chic coffee houses I visited in Vienna.
Every now and then, I grin shamefully and think back at my endless hesitation choosing between the only two types of coffee available in most Dutch stores: red brand and gold brand. Even up to this day I have no clue what the actual difference is between the two, apart from the color of the wrapping: red or gold. Not surprisingly, Starbucks appeals to the laptop genre of people: consultants, students, intellectuals, the middle class, and a Starbucks coffee is a white-collar coffee, while a Dunkin' Donuts coffee is a blue-collar coffee. In Dunkin' Donuts you will run into Joe the Plumber, Bob the barber, and Mac the truck driver. But what is it exactly, that attracts the white collared workers in the US to fall back into the purple velvet chairs?
I imagine their working days filled with repetitive actions and decisions within a playing field of precisely defined responsibilities. How many of the players in these fields get through the day with its routines for simply no other reason than being able to enjoy their daily 30 minutes-escape into the Starbucks intimacy where, for a brief moment in the day, you regain the illusion of human warmth and exotic associations of resisting the coldness of high finance?
For 15 minutes you fall back into the deep, soft pillow of a velvet chair and randomly, and alas how important is that moment of utter randomness, pull a book from the shelves. While, in the background, soothing tones resound of country blues, with its recognition of deep human suffering, a blaze of folk with the primary connection with nature and tradition, or of merengue reviving the passionate memories of adventure and love, you gaze out the window and ponder about that simple, volatile reflection in the moment, strengthened by the physical effect of half a liter of watery coffee that starts to kick in and the satisfaction of chewing your muffin, bagel, cake, brownie, croissant or donut.
It is, above all, that bodily ecstasy caused by a combination of caffeine, sugar and the salivating Pavlov effect. You remember the struggling musician behind the counter taking your order, the amateur poet as you pay her for the coffee and give a full dollar tip, feeling a transcendental bound in your flight from reality. You stare with a fastened throbbing of the first gulps of coffee at the advertisements and poems on the bulletin board, and dauntlessly you think: They are right, they are so right! and what do I care? Why should I care?
But then you look at your watch and notice you really have to run again. 'Well, too bad, gotta go!', or people will start gossiping for being so long away from your desk.
Espresso in america is really a subculture which enormously sailed in order to the top of customer's culture. Starbucks is actually a lot more than espresso, it is a lot more than yet another manufacturer available on the market, it's a social-political declaration, a means associated with perceiving exactly how you want to reside, quite simply it's a lifestyle. Starbucks may be the option to Coca-Cola as well as a lot more than simply espresso: it is dark chocolate, ice-cream, frappuccino, journey cups along with unique images, mugs as well as reside songs, Compact disks, discount rates upon displays as well as assistance with regard to you are not selected function.