I've been drinking coffee since I was a child, I'm a New Yorican and from what I've gathered, this is pretty common in our culture. Granted, I wasn't tossing back double shot espressos when I was ten but I'm not doing that now either. Regular coffee, light and sweet, please.
This is important information to know when I tell you, a friend of many years asked me one day, "as a long time coffee drinker, don't you feel it is now being exploited. Like it's hip and cool to drink it?" Another key point to know is that this is a completely relevant question to ask me. Me, the girl who doesn't like to listen to Kanye, watch Game of Thrones or walking dead, the girl who can't stand Snapchat, all because it's popular. Petty, I know. I just like to make my own choices and sometimes that means going against the grain.
But coffee! Coffee is my first true love. Coffee gives me all the feels, I'm not kidding when I say it makes me a person. I believe the world is powered by coffee, it's nature's gift to us. Hallelujah. ☕️ 🙌
Okay, but how do I feel about coffee and its culture as it stands today? I'll be honest, I didn't have to think about the question too long. "No." Firstly, if I didn't drink coffee because it became popularized I would be cutting off my nose to spite my face and coffee is my jam so that's not happening. The second part of my answer was that I love how accessible it is to grab a cup of coffee.
Sure, it's easy to grab a cup of Joe and be on your way but what does that actually mean? Well, here in the U.S that means in 2015, the coffee industry was responsible for 1.7 million jobs.
According to the National Coffee Association of the U.S "the total economic impact of the coffee industry in the United States in 2015 was $225.2 billion."
The coffee industry is steadily stimulating our economy with its liquid gold. In 2015, coffee brought in 28 billion dollars in taxes for America. Everyone complains about taxes but it's the very thing that keeps our society afloat. So as a coffee drinker, you're doing your part. Sip proudly, baby, sip proud. ☕️
But of course, coffee doesn't put money in the pockets of people solely in the coffee industry, it's a home for entrepreneurs as well. One could question if the very entrepreneurs working from cafes give directly and indirectly into the coffee industry. If they aren't buying the coffee themselves, they're filling seats, seats by windows that make a place appear busy and thus adding to the demand. If people are frequenting a coffee shop, surely, it must be good. It's an amazing little eco-system.
Entrepreneurs, millennials are building their own businesses in cafes. They are taking meetings, networking, drawing inspiration from bustling coffee shops because energy is contagious. Coffee shops are generally safe, it's a place where you can be yourself and be accepted or be ignored, either one works for millennials.
As if there weren't enough benefits to coffee, it also builds community. There was a point when we stopped knowing our neighbors, we got stuck with our heads in our phones and began ignoring other human life. Now walking into a coffee shop is a new experience. You get to be around people for the sake of being around them. Your barista knows your name, maybe even your drink order and yes that makes you feel damn special.
So if you ask me why I love coffee, it's all of these reasons. As an entrepreneur myself, I'm happy that something I love so strongly can align with my passions, give me a venue to work, a small business to support and the ability to make a big city feel small.