Coffee the brand of brands
A bit hyperbolic perhaps but coffee is not merely a symbol of affluence or the arbiter of culture. Coffee in America is not simply a beverage anymore. It is a shaper of things much more important than the bottom line of Starbuck or Dunkin' Donuts. It is a brand given to the American people by the American people!
We previously looked at the history and expansion of coffee across the United States. In this series we will look at more depth into the cultural norms of coffee today. Coffee is certainly around us. It is everywhere and in many cases monopolises our thoughts throughout the day. It's probably the first thing most of us, whether we live in Texas or New York or L.A. or anywhere in between think about. Regardless of whether we are commuting through busy highways or crowded metro stations the smell of coffee is all around us, if not following us in our heads...
Coffee in American culture is a brand in and of itself. Not just a brand of merchandise sold by Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, Keurig, Folgers, and the many other famous names you may know; it’s a brand given to the American people, by the American people.
The iconic caffeine source is everywhere, in all shapes, sizes, and flavors, accompanying all kinds of people throughout many periods in the day. It’s the first thing your average American living in New York thinks about while navigating his or her way through the busy city commute; it’s the first thing your average American living in the Midwest thinks about walking out onto his or her back porch to watch the sunrise.
It’s the first thing just about every average American thinks about between the tedious morning hours of 6:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. (Yes, 2:00 p.m. is most certainly considered a doleful morning hour in some parts of these United States.)
But why is coffee such an unstoppable force in America? What’s the idea behind meeting your friends for a “cup o’ coffee?” How did this come to be? Why is it coffee and not tea, the beverage of choice for many other Western countries?
If you, like us, think of coffee as an absolute must have for that boost of energy before you start your day or even a must have when those relaxing moments with friends come to pass, you won't be too surprised to hear that we too have questions about how our favorite beverage can simultaneously relax and invigorate us.
The fact that coffee is lodged in our every day existence as a brand for these experiences (waking-up, going to work, breaking for lunch etc.) is most definitely the answer to that conundrum.
On the next in the series we'll look at the coffee brand more closely and the connections between culture and our favorite drink