Ahh…can’t start my day without a cup of Joe! I don't want to miss my morning coffee klatch. With one eye open I groan…COFFEEEE.
Yes coffee is part of our social as well as our addictive lives. And while I don’t get the caffeine crave (I admittedly drink decaf) I am guilty of coffee socialism. When I lived next to my best friend in our condominiums, well two doors away, I couldn’t start my day without popping in to her kitchen to share 10 minutes and cup of coffee with her. Or she’d stop by midday and say “Put on a pot and we’ll chat.” After she got married and moved away, well my coffee socials ended and so did my every day morning cup.
According to the online encyclopedia, Wikipedia…Today, coffee is the third most popular drink in the world, behind water and tea.
And I thought wine would have placed somewhere in there before old Joe. So coffee is a worldwide phenomenon, the universal drink which transcends language, culture and time. The cultivating of coffee expanded from Africa to the Middle East and then from the Muslim world to Eastern Europe, Indonesia and eventually to the Americas. The earliest signs of coffee consumption date back to the mid 15th century.
We here in the United States love our coffee with 54% of the adult population partaking of this tasty hot beverage according to National Coffee Association’s 2009 statistics. And the U.S. reportedly imports 4 billion dollars of coffee each year. We drink it to get the day started, we drink it for an afternoon jolt, we drink it with dessert, we drink it with alcohol, we drink it cold and we drink it, most of the time, piping hot. I‘ve bought coffee scented candles and I even own coffee scented soap. The aroma of coffee appeals to even the non-coffee drinkers by evoking a feeling of home and comfort. It is so familiar to most of us that it becomes a means for complete strangers to bond. If you ever go into a Starbucks, people are generally in a good and relaxed mood, despite the stimulating affects caffeine has on their nervous systems.
So regardless of the fact that I am not a regular coffee drinker, there are times when I do crave the taste of a hazelnut decaf, and this morning is one of them. With all that being said, I raise my cup of coffee to salute this drink of the ages, and all of the glorious ways it flavors our lives.