The social trend
Did it all start with the first Friends episode? In the nineties, I truly believed that being a grown-up meant sitting in a trendy little coffee shop with my friends, listening to grunge and ignoring my moms incessant phone calls. Turns out it’s more to do with taxes and changing diapers than laying on my ass drinking coffee in New York City. Funny thing how this coffee culture we experience today has become bigger than ever and just like ankle high active wear or the ombre’d coif, one simply can not be seen without a strong cup of coffee, (of the right brand of coarse). I believe, as most trends these days, it’s all about marketing and here’s why.
In the late sixties to early seventies, coffee consumption hit a dramatic decline, from consumers downing an average of four cups a day down to only two. The times were-a-changing and big coffee companies had to step up their game. Enter Ogilvie’s and Star-Bucks who started to absolutely dominate a rather large gap in the emerging “me” market. Now we can argue that the steady rise of coffee consumption is due to the fact that we have moved away from the brown, bland coffee tin and on to a more sophisticated whole bean approach and yeah sure, I’m sure that it has something to do with it; but if all it takes do embed such an undeniably strong social norm is a slightly better pallet then why aren’t we all hanging out in gluten filed fast food joints anymore. I believe it has something to do with American pop culture tripling down from fifth avenues trendy hipster teens and celebrities.
On the other, less cynical side of the spectrum, perhaps the reason why it has become such a wildly popular pastime is due to the fact that in this beautiful brown beverage, we have found something that connects us all on a global scale. Suddenly, the way we start our day or spend our time with friends or family is universal. Maybe the fact that our social trends now start to coincide with the European way of doing things makes us feel like the world is moving closer together, and by connecting through something as simple as caffeine, we are creating some sort of progress in the world and uniting against a common enemy, or maybe we are all just really tired.