Why is coffee so popular? At last count more than 1400 million cups of coffee are sold every day worldwide. Problems are solved, deals are made, friends and lovers meet and road warriors find their Wi-Fi spot over coffee. Some say that coffee became so popular because of its mild stimulating effect but there has to be more to it than a momentary rush of caffeine for coffee to be the second most traded commodity in the world (oil is first).
I think that coffee has become the global drink du jour because of its complexity. The varieties of beans and the ways of blending and roasting them have given coffee almost limitless possibilities to please the palate. The aromas, strengths and combinations that arise from the coffee bean create an expansive menu of flavors that has made Starbucks famous. Breve, lungo, cappuccino, corretto, latte, mocha, macchiato, Americano; you can choose your own personal brew depending on how you feel at any particular time of the day and season of the year. In the hands of a skilled barista your cup of coffee becomes a canvas for latte art, in the hands of a chef de cuisine, it becomes an affogato or an ingredient in a delicious tiramisu.
Irish, Greek, Turkish, Thai, Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Indian – coffee drinkers all around world define their culture by the way they make and drink a cup of coffee. For whatever reason, we as a people have a preference for coffee. What’s in your cup today?