In the United States, we love our coffee. From coffee in white paper coffee cups with plastic lids to coffee in a sturdy ceramic mug to iced coffee in a plastic cup lined with condensation, we will drink coffee out of almost anything. We love almost any kind of coffee too – iced coffee, mochas, lattes, cappuccinos, and plain coffee with creamer (or without, if you take your coffee black). In fact, without coffee, many of us would feel like we could not make it through the day. Coffee – and the caffeine it contains – helps to jump start many a morning. It gets people ready for work, gets parents ready to play with toddler who are way too excited for 6 am on a Saturday morning, it gets college students ready to pull an all nighter during finals week. Around 30% of the population in the United States consider themselves to be regular coffee drinkers, and nearly 70% of all coffee consumed is done so during the morning hours. The typical American coffee consumer drinks an average of around one and a half cups of coffee every single day.
For coffee shops, this is good news. In fact, independent coffee shops in the United States make around twelve billion dollars in one year alone. But there are a lot of things to consider when opening an independent coffee shop. First and foremost, it’s important to have all of the necessary supplies. Take wooden stir stick for coffee, for example. Though many of us don’t given stirrers a second thought, a huge majority of us use them when preparing our coffee. Without their presence, we wouldn’t be able to mix all of the necessary components of coffee together, and their presence would certainly be missed. It’s also important that all the necessary add ons be present, like cream and sugar and other types of sweeteners. As only around 35% of all coffee drinkers take their coffee black, it is important to provide the necessary supplies to the rest of us. It’s also important to have white paper cups and lids on hand, as white disposable coffee cups and lids makes it easy for coffee drinkers on the go (most commonly on their way to work). Lids are, again, a small thing – but they make a big difference. Lids mean that coffee can be transported and mornings streamlined, combining effectiveness with pleasure.
It’s also crucial for independent coffee shops to carefully consider the types of coffee and other beverages (as well as foods) to have available. Around 150 million people in the United States drink some kind of cappuccino, latte, or iced coffee beverage, so it’s most often necessary to often a variety of coffee types to customers. Tea is also a popular drink offered at most coffee shops. Many people drink it for the flavor and many drink it for the reduced caffeine content as well. Many tea varieties are caffeine free, providing a viable option for those who choose to abstain from caffeine for whatever reason. Food has also become a common option at many independent coffee shops. Many coffee shops will offer small snacks or meals, such as fresh pastries or soups. These light refreshments are perfect for a quick lunch or a between meal pick me up, and can add depth and experience to the coffee shop itself. Offering small food options also often encourages customers to spend more time at the coffee shop, truly enjoying the experience of it instead of just taking something to go.
No matter how you take your coffee (or if you prefer tea instead), coffee is an important part of American society as we know it. Many of us would be bereft without our morning coffee, and independent coffee shops help to make coffee (as well as tea) consumption all the more pleasant and all the more streamlined. From to go cups with lids to fresh pastry items, independent coffee shops often make customers for life. As a country we run on coffee, and many independent coffee shops help to keep us running.