“Let food by thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
This prescient statement came from one of the Ancient Greek’s most eminent philosophers. His name was Hippocrates and while many interpret this statement to mean legumes, whole grains, leafy greens, and fruit, Hippocrates may have also been hinting at another substance that would later take the world by storm–coffee.
The retail value of coffee in the United States is $48 billion, with specialty coffee comprising a 55% value share. So why does America love coffee so much? Simple. Here are three reasons.
Coffee helps boost energy. This is a well-known fact, as anyone who has drank coffee knows that coffee boosts energy with a little (or big) kick. Coffee contains caffeine, which some say is the world’s most used drug. It is a stimulant, known for stimulating neurons in the brain, kicking the body into gear, and boosting more alert behavior.
This is especially important with Americans, given our busy schedules, endless demands from work and home, and responsibilities that never seem to end. Our hustle bustle schedule almost demands stimulants to allow our bodies and minds to adapt, and some may thrive in those conditions with a couple of cups of Joe.
Coffee helps boost memory. Studies have shown that a cup of coffee allows individuals to think at a higher pace, thereby increasing concentration and the ability to remember salient details, such as working with documents and needing to recall key words. Memory plays an important function in day to day life and a small cup of coffee can help stimulate those neurons in the brain, keeping functioning at a high level.
Coffee helps socializing. Everyone knows that alcohol reduces inhibitions but what they may not know is that, and especially for quiet individuals, coffee can create someone into quite the “talker.” Because coffee is a stimulant and it speeds up the brain, it can also cause rapid-speech, which can make an individual seem more outgoing compared to other times.
For these individuals, one of the best places to socialize might be a coffee shop, where many like-minded individuals are studying or working under the influence of the caffeine filled substance. Although coffee shops are not exactly like the neighborhood bars, they present the opportunity to socialize, which is always a helpful component of coffee drinking.
There are many statistics surrounding coffee drinkers, so here are just a few:
- Recent statistics show that American consumers drank on average 1.64 cups of coffee per day.
- 50% of the population, or the equivalent of 150 million people, drink espresso, cappuccino, latte, or iced/cold coffee.
- 30% of the population drink coffee occasionally.
- 35% of coffee drinkers prefer black coffee.
- 65% prefer to add sugar or cream.
The average coffee cup is nine ounces and generally comes with two important parts: a lid that fits over the top and has an opening to drink through and a cardboard paper cut out that fits around the side so that people can hold the cup without scalding their fingers. There are many accessories to coffee ups as well, including wooden stir sticks, the personalized disposable coffee cups, and the custom paper coffee cups.
The generic form of coffee cups is called paper hot cups with lids. These paper hot cups are easy to manufacture and even easier to use in the coffee shop, as they have become so commonplace that everyone knows them. The paper hot cups with lids can also contain other food and drink, such as soup, tea, or hot chocolate.
In fact, with Americans eating more than 10 billion bowls of soup each year, the paper hot cups with lids have been gaining steam in other parts of the food industry. Because coffee is so popular, they have quite a large share of the paper hot cups with lids manufacturing industry.
After all, the United States imported 27.5 million bags of coffee in 2014, accounting for almost 25% of global coffee imports (the un-roasted kind), making it the world’s largest single buyer.
While coffee is a major feature in today’s economy, not everyone thinks it’s the best thing since sliced bread. Coffee can have major hazards for people with addiction issues, other mental health issues like bipolar disorder and depression, as well as pregnant women and people that are undergoing certain kinds of medical treatment.