People crave coffee. You could be one of them, too. Reuters reported in March that Americans daily coffee consumption is at its highest level in six years. The authors reference a survey released by the National Coffee Association (NCA), which “underscores a strong US market for the caffeinated beverage [coffee] even as demand for soda and juice continues a yearslong decline.” Its proliferation is likely the result of multiple factors, one of which is the trend toward healthier living. Our national past is another major contributor.
How so? Alexia Wulff at Culture Trip published a brief history of American coffee culture, which explains not only its origin story but also how our revolution solidified the widespread shift from tea to coffee. You can thank the Boston Tea Party for that. According to Wulff, “by the 18th century, coffee had become one of the most profitable commodities.” She describes how the beverage thrived during the Civil War and how it fueled miners during the California Gold Rush. Those are some fairly iconic time periods. Suffice it to say that coffee has a rich legacy.
While the facts and figures clearly prove that people love coffee, they don’t reveal why. Some individuals consume coffee almost exclusively for its stimulating properties. They don’t necessarily care about where the beans originated from and/or how they were prepared. The entire experience revolves around the psychotropic effects produced by the caffeine they ingest. There are others, however, that consume coffee for its wide variety of nuanced flavors and aromas. To them, the source of the java bean and its method of preparation are pivotal aspects of the overall experience. They might even consider the process half art and half science.
Those that do emphasize quality ingredients and meticulous brewing should consider learning as much as possible about the process. Fortunately, staff writers at the NCA put together a comprehensive guide explaining how to brew coffee properly. They introduce readers to several important considerations–everything from the right equipment and the bean type to the grinding methods and the water temperature. True connoisseurs covet not only understanding how the procedure unfolds but also in mastering the related techniques. While the former can be done passively, the latter can only be accomplished through deliberate practice.
The biggest challenge with concerted practice is holding yourself accountable. One possible suggestion is investing in the equipment upfront. This may include things like a grinder or French press. The pitfall is that the hardware alone might fail to motivate long-term action. In other words, simply forgetting to buy more coffee while grocery shopping could undermine progress by giving you a viable excuse. That’s why a coffee subscription would be a great gift to yourself. Doing so would effectively outsource the responsibility and prevent the aforementioned situation from derailing your efforts.
There are even more compelling reasons to stay the course. David Noonan at Scientific American drew attention to the various health benefits linked to coffee consumption. He stresses the importance of a new study that “identifies a specific cellular mechanism by which coffee consumption may improve cardiovascular health.” That contradicts antiquated conventional wisdom warning people with heart conditions to avoid coffee. It’s one more myth successfully debunked, right along with coffee stunting developmental growth.
Suffice it to say that no matter where you stand on the subject, becoming a coffee connoisseur is certain to have at least a few positive outcomes. The worst-case scenario is that you learn all about coffee only to realize you dislike the beverage. At least, then, you can impress people with your knowledge.