The Evolution of Coffee

Ah, the evolution of coffee.

I won’t go back to Ethiopian herders observations of their goats after they ate coffee cherries; I won’t talk about Kopi Luwak (although we do have an interesting experience to share about that sometime).  I won’t quote statistics on the boom of the specialty coffee industry in the last 20 years.

Actually scratch that, I will:

  • According to the 2017 U.S. Specialty Coffee Consumption Trends report published by the Specialty Coffee Association, 59% of people are drinking specialty coffee versus 41% non-specialty.
  • Only 9% of Americans were drinking specialty coffee daily in 1999.  In 2017, that number is up to 41%.

This report is not new, it has been out for a year.  But I have memories flitting through my mind tonight that relate to changes in attitudes about coffee.

When I was a kid in the 80’s people drank coffee.  My parents drank coffee every day.  You were either a lover of the red can or the blue can.  (And youngsters, when I say CAN I mean CAN – super huge tin can that you had to open with a can opener that dad would later keep screws in on his workbench? Go to grandpa’s house, you’ll find one).

There were oddballs thrown in there sometimes – the orange can, the yellow can.  But the great debate was:  “Do you like the blue or the red?”

Then in 1994 I remember hearing a waiter at a “fancy” big city restaurant say to my father “This isn’t just coffee, this is STARBUCKS”, my dad laughed at him.  Why?  Because everyone drank the red can or the blue can.   We just wanted a cup of coffee.

It’s funny how providence sort of irons certain things in your memory.

“Starbucks.”  Never heard of it.

In the late 90’s we happily drove an hour away to get to quaint, privately-owned coffeehouses with cushy couches that played Indie music and supported local artists.  Those spots made you feel like you were a regular cast member on the TV show “Friends”.   (Or for the counter-culture crowd; like you were absolutely NOT a cast member on the TV show “Friends”…  you are way too hip for that.)

But that was a special treat, on a weekend when we could sneak away from the college campus.

Fast forward to today – 20 years later, with more than half of Americans willing to pay the extra money for that extra special cup to brighten their day.

According to Forbes Magazine, “Younger people are driving this growth and in coffee consumption outside of the home; people 65 years and older drink most of their coffee at home, while coffee drinkers under the age of 35 are more likely to drink it on the go.”

So most of this uptick in specialty coffee drinking is from people going through the drive thru, which is a little sad to me.

Let me get to the point – don’t buy your coffee out.  If you order from a company like ours, online, you will get the freshest coffee delivered directly to you in a day or two.  It will be the most delicious coffee you have ever tasted and it is a fraction of the price of what you will pay for an older, overdone beverage at a commercial coffee shop.

Make your house the coffeehouse.  

The drive-thru is great now and then – in an emergency when my thermos is empty.  Or when I want something super CRAZY that I can’t make at home (which is rare).  But most of the time I leave the drive-thru disappointed, because NOTHING COMPARES TO FRESH ROAST!

My message before one of the busiest travel weekends of the year:  ditch the drive-thru.  Drink specialty coffee at home.  You’ll save time, money, the environment, you can drink as much awesome coffee as you want and you won’t even have to get out of your PJ’s.

Have a great Labor Day Weekend friends!

If you would like to look at some handy-dandy data from the SCA here is the link:


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2 thoughts on “The Evolution of Coffee

  1. The coffees are fresh, comes in a variety of flavors, and delicious. What is more fun than having a really good cup of coffee at home in your jammies on a Saturday morning? Really good coffee…

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