When you think about coffee, many things probably come to mind. Whether you love it or hate it, the fact is that coffee shops are on every corner, new coffee machines and products come out almost daily, and the saying “Let’s go out for coffee” is used by almost everyone. So what’s the deal? Why is coffee so addicting to our culture? Probably because coffee is so addicting itself.
Caffeine is one of the most addicting substances out there. It is the reason you can’t sleep at night and it is that headache you get when you miss your morning cup of Joe. Yet, what is also so addicting about coffee is the social aspects and the ease of it. One of the most simple and fun date ideas or places to meet up with a friend is the local coffee shop. It gives you a chance to get to know one another, catch up on each other’s lives, or talk things out. Coffee shops have a relaxing atmosphere with fresh smells, comfy chairs, and dim lighting.
While these coffee shops and socializing help improve our mood to relaxed, calm, and social, coffee can do the opposite. Caffeine has been found to increase your cortisol levels, which increase your feelings of stress and anxiety. If you drink more than five cups, you can even produce a panic attack. So when socializing at your local coffee shop, choose decaf and you’ll be able to enjoy the atmosphere of the comfortable chairs and friendly people more. (Check out an upcoming post that goes more in depth on coffee and your mood.)
No wonder coffee shops are the fastest growing part of the restaurant business. The US coffee shop industry includes about 25,000 stores with combined annual revenue of about $13 billion, according to the Specialty Coffee Association of America. Most now have Wi-Fi which make business meetings or studying for class easier than ever. No wonder the first thing that comes to mind when making plans with someone is to meet up at a coffee shop. It is quick, convenient, and offers your favorite caffeinated beverages.
Another addition to the ease of coffee shops are that they are a great place to buy gifts for your fellow coffee lovers. Now in February, Valentine’s posters cover your local Starbucks and they offer gift cards, coffee, adorable mugs and to-go bottles. It is as easy to buy a present as grabbing a cup of coffee on your way to work.
Another new obsession of coffee lovers is not only the coffee shop on the corner, but coffee makers that are easier to use than ever. Now with machines such as the ones by Keurig, having a cup of coffee whenever you want now takes seconds. They offer 14 kinds of brewers with K-Cups of already made coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. You simply put the K-Cup in your machine, press a button, and BAM! Your favorite drink is in your hands. You can easily make coffee for two, so if you don’t feel like meeting someone or studying at a coffee shop, you can invite them over to catch up and sip coffee with you.
So whether you prefer meeting friends or lovers at your local coffee shop, brewing at home, or don’t even like coffee, you have to admit we are a culture obsessed with the social aspects of coffee drinking just as much as we are obsessed with coffee itself.
You can look forward to more posts on coffee this month on ASK In Your Face: All About Fair Trade Coffee, Surprising Health Pros and Cons of Coffee, and Coffee and Brain Power.
To read more from Lauren, check outÂ Lauren’s Thoughts.