One of my loves in life has always been coffee. There is something intriguing about the creation and indulgence of this brown liquid. The liquid that came from the Arab world and quickly moved its way into modern society, is as closely tied in with our lives today as waking up and sleeping. The history of how this amazing cherry has came to its status, ties closely to our history as humans in modern times.
English coffee houses sprung up in the 1700’s and became extremely popular as “penny universities”. People would go to coffee houses, pay a penny for coffee and drift into all sorts of cultural conversations. From science to politics, there was so much information exchanged within these four walls. As it quickly shifted to an Arabic stronghold (as these countries were some of the only areas that it was cultivated) the English devised a plan to get their hands on this business. They found a way to get a plant smuggled out and into their lands of Indonesia, where Moka Java was quickly the start to something much greater for modern society. This is where it quickly catapulted into our hearts throughout the European world and continues to mesmerize us on a daily basis.
The art of coffee drinking has changed over time as different techniques have came about. Now you can go into a cafe and have a wide array of choices as you look to get your fix. The one that has always enticed me the most is the simplest form, the black coffee. The interest for me is not the caffeine fix (which I’m assuming I have a bodily addiction to), but the different flavors that arise from different origins and how they are roasted. Never in time have we had so many different types of coffee at our finger tips. Kona, Kenya, Ethiopian, Costa Rican… they all have amazing and unique attributes. Do you love fruity, acidic flavor to your coffee? Fall in love with an African origin. Maybe needing more of a caramel or chocolate note in your palate, look to South American coffees to feed the need.
The art of the addiction to coffee has left me searching places everywhere I travel. Finding coffee shops that have the art of the French press or pour over on the menu. The fruity, acidic taste of many African coffees always seem to grab my attention. Sadly sometimes I find myself disgusted, as I watch people next to me drinking their Carmel Frappuccino or other sugary forms of what they consider coffee. Am I really a person that needs to judge others on what makes them happy? Starbucks brought way to specialized coffee in America, when the only thing we knew was robusta. Best start of waking up, Folgers in your cup? I choose to disagree. Starbucks has now gone the way of sugary drinks that people wait in long lines for and pay 8 dollars a cup. I have to thank a company like this for starting a revolution, which I shouldn’t undermine, but hope it gets back to its roots in time.
Coffee has changed me, some for the better, but also an addiction that maybe has altered who I am and where I would be. Our circadian rhythms have been decimated by this small cherry that when roasted becomes this amazing altered state, but relatively speaking, were we better off in a drunken haze when alcohol was the only stimulant in life? If we sustained from all addictions, what would society conform as? I don’t know what we would be in life, but I will tell you that I’m not giving up my pour over of the fruity, acidic explosion in my mouth of a great Kenyan cup of joe anytime soon.