America Runs On Coffee

America Runs On Coffee

Why American culture is seemingly a coffee culture.

If you’ve ever had to wake up early for an opening shift at work or stay up late finishing a project, usually some sort of liquid caffeine helps the process go a bit smoother. How many times has that been tea? Coffee? A soft drink or energy drink? More times than not it’ll be coffee. Granted, a cola or Mountain Dew from time to time help break the monotony of coffee, but the likelihood of tea getting to your hands is slim.

That choice of coffee over tea has a variety of factors, all of which are valid. I feel that decision could even trace its way back to the beginning of our nation. Britain enjoyed tea. We didn’t enjoy Britain. So we dumped it all in the Boston Harbor (not only in defiance of the nation itself, but everything can be traced to economics at some point). After that moment, the colonists felt they could make the comparison of coffee vs. tea is equal to American vs. England. Thus, our ‘coffee culture’ started.

In the modern day, coffee shops outnumber tea houses in the states to an unfair degree. The number of commonly known tea brands is always dwarfed by the number of commonly coffee brands. Even then, they are known more for the iced tea they produce. Iced tea is also American in that it’s a middle finger to how the drink was originally prepared; a rebellion in the tea world itself. But our ‘coffee culture’ is not like other cultures where coffee is the primary and preferred drink. American coffee culture is unique. It’s unique in that we have the cheapest coffee beans and the elite coffee beans in the same building, sometimes even next to each other. We have lower class, middle class, upper class, working, and unemployed alike drinking coffee next to each other. It is not a drink that only one group of people enjoy. Everyone can and typically does enjoy some form of coffee.

The reasons behind this are simple: it’s cheap and fast. A cup of coffee can cost no more than $1 but on the same hand can be more than $10. Ask for a cup of coffee and maybe a minute later it’s in your hand already being enjoyed. We are a people of efficient and economically sound practices and of almost instant gratification. Coffee gives us just that. The caffeine buzz is quick to enter and hard to leave. It can be had in a mere few ounce shot or a whole pot of brew. With different flavors and sugars and milks we have also made a seemingly countless variety of cups of coffee to be had.

Tea doesn’t have all that. Don’t feel extreme bias here, I enjoy both coffee and tea regularly but they have their time. Coffee is the for the on-the-go person who needs a quick drink that can keep them going. Tea slows everything down a notch. It has to be steeped in smaller quantities, which takes more time. It has lower caffeine, so more has to be had for the same effect of coffee. Sugary flavors can’t be added to mask the taste of tea so children and those who don’t even like coffee or tea tend to shy away from it. Tea is almost made to be sipped on, in a relaxed manner, with no sense of urgency on the mind.

Coffee is the counter-part of that, coinciding with a fast paced culture such as ours. And with that, fills a very large niche with the American people.

Cover Image Credit: Wikipedia

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I Don't Refrigerate My Ketchup And You Shouldn't Either

No this isn't really an article about ketchup

DISCLAIMER: If you expect to read an entire article about a bottle of Heinz, you are about to be severely let down.

You read the title right, I, nor does my family, refrigerate their ketchup bottles. It always kind of had to do with the concept of keeping our cold food cold and hot food hot, but that is absolutely besides the point. Look it up people! Contrary to popular belief, a ketchup bottle is not required to be refrigerated. (Just think about all those room temperature bottles sitting on the tables of restaurants legitimately EVERYWHERE). So you may think I'm a weirdo (I mean, in part, you're not wrong), but to each their own. Maybe I do things a little differently, but just because it isn't your way, doesn't mean it's wrong. That doesn't mean you shouldn't carve your own path.

We hear it time and time again; you can be anything you want to be, as long as we work hard to get there. We'll even hear that it may be difficult to get there, but sometimes we aren't clued into the concept that the destination we strive to reach may not have a path associated with it yet. Perhaps it is you who has to create it. A linear path is boring, so go explore, go design, go make the most of this world. In doing so, you are shaping yourself and your own character, your own identity. If we followed the same path as the person before us, we would be stripping ourselves of innovation. In short, we'd be really freaking boring.

Why are we so quick to follow the leader? Why do we take the shortcuts? Why don't we trust ourselves in discovering some really amazing things in this life? I invite you to take a step out of your comfort zone and see this world from a different vantage point. I encourage you to trust your gut and go after what you've had your eye on for all this time. I applaud you for knowing that any journey will take time and great effort and that what you put in is what you get out, but that has not seemed to stop you yet. Along the way, you may turn heads; people may question your motives, some may be envious of your courage, but whatever you do, do not second guess the fact that you are not a sheep in the herd. You are leading the way to so much more.

Attached to this is appreciating that other people are carving their own paths as well and that we cannot get everyone to be on board with our ideas. In attempting to do so, I'd absolutely be dispelling what I've written about sticking to your guts for the past three paragraphs. So yes, there are a million ways to get from Point A to Point B. Some may seem practical, some may seem longwinded, some may require creativity, and some may be difficult to envision, but each invites us to take on a new perspective, to see life through a different lens. This breeds the opportunity to learn from other human beings, a chance to see what sets their heart aflame. This is where we take a step back from our routines and our sense of normalcy and see the world through the eyes of someone else. This is where we master the art of compromise, put away our stubbornness for awhile and see how two ideas can merge together to create another innovative opportunity.

In my short 22 years, I learned early that if my options are slim, I can create my own. If my values are not matched with the world I am surrounded by, make a change. If my path and your path cross over and we don't get along, tell me about it, so I can learn and gain more understanding for this big, vast, place we live in. So really, try this whole ketchup thing. Be your own person. Don't be afraid to slip away from these hypothetical standards that we hold ourselves to. Set yourself a part and go after whatever it is you've been eyeing. You'll only be mad at yourself if you don't. And on the real, try not refrigerating your ketchup, it really is quite liberating.



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8 Thank-Yous Starbucks Has Earned For Fueling My Life

Starbucks is my day to day that gets me though life.

Starbucks the stomping ground for "basic" white girls, business leaders, young teenagers, students and families all around. I am one to personally say that Starbucks has my heart and always will. The drinks are staples and have gotten me through my day to day lifestyle. I have so much to thank Starbucks for, so here's a list of everything that I would like to thank Starbucks for...

Thanks to Starbucks for my first frappucino at the mall in the glory days of middle school... I thought I was so cool carrying that "coffee drink without an actual drop of coffee. Strawberries and Cream, Double chocolatey chip have energy powers I swear.

Thanks to Starbucks for being a place to go with my new found driving independence in high school. Probably one the first places I ever drove through, before school, after school, anytime really!

Thanks to Starbucks for fueling me for my first college exam. I felt so much anxiety for the first couple of tests in college but the drinks helped me keep my cool, literally. All I needed was a Starbucks to study, or maybe that's an excuse but either way the drink was good.

Thanks to Starbucks for creating seasonal festivities. Do I smell a Pumpkin Spice Latte here? This drink has a reputation bigger than most people even seem to have these days. Is it even fall if you haven't had a Pumpkin Spice Latte yet?

Thanks to Starbucks for helping me travel in style! Florida, California, NYC, no matter where you go this beautiful coffee chain will be there for you, feeling like home every time. The drinks are consistent and wonderfully made and somehow manage to never get old either.

Thanks to Starbucks for giving me a place to meet friends. From getting to know new sorority sisters at my last school to bonding with new classmates, or even the go-to between my classes. Starbucks never fails to be a place to meet and connect with others.

Thanks to Starbucks for giving me the caffeine boost I need for work. While work can be tiring and the extra energy is needed. Luckily my Starbucks drink got me through it all, even the long shifts at Disney, that happiness came at a small price. The price of caffeine and that is one thing I can not seem to live without.

Thank you, Starbucks for countless memories and moments over the years. The drinks have gotten me through many life stages. From shopping, traveling, studying, or just chilling with friends, Starbucks has always been there for me. I appreciate the tasty drinks and the constant satisfaction that comes with it.

Cover Image Credit: Matthew Washburn

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