Coffee Is Culture

History and Adaptation

Today, coffee is one of the world’s most highly traded commodities. According to the National Coffee Association, coffee is the most consumed beverage aside from water. For most people, coffee gets the day started and then continues to get us through the day. So how did the beverage grow into the cultural phenomenon it is today?

Legend has it coffee was discovered centuries ago by Ethiopian farmer, Kaldi, who observed his goats eating the coffee cherries and exhibiting strange and exuberant behavior. All of a sudden, they were full of energy! After the stimulating effect was discovered, coffee cherries and their beans began being passed across the globe. The beverage spread, gaining popularity. Different regions around the world began growing and cultivating coffee. In the 1600s, coffee took over as the favored breakfast beverage, replacing wine and beer.

In the 1700s, coffee and tea were equally favored in the U.S. However, this dynamic changed when the events of the Boston Tea Party made it unpatriotic to drink tea. Tea was boycotted, and coffee became the substitute of choice; an effect that has had a lasting impression to this day.

As consumption patterns changed over the years, so did consumer expectations. By the 1970s, the term “specialty” coffee was coined, and an interest in knowing and distinguishing coffee-growing regions began to take hold. Coffees with a single-origin profile became popular, such as our Private Reserve® Brazil Santos Bourbon, which features the rare yellow Bourbon variety of Arabica beans which is known for its smooth, mellow flavor. Other coffees blended a variety of regions to create skillfully crafted flavors, like the Private Reserve® Founder’s Blend.

Modern Day Consumption

Today, coffee has become an important part of societal norms. The “coffee break” during working hours helps sustain energy throughout the day. At home, it’s a focal point for entertaining. It creates a social ambiance. There’s nothing like reminiscing with friends over a good cup of coffee. A day of entertaining family often winds down with the familiar smell of coffee brewing in the kitchen.

Coffee drinkers love to socialize over their favorite drinks of choice, which expanded beyond simply brewed coffee, to also include specially-crafted espresso drinks. Coffee houses have been around for more than 500 years, but the explosion of coffee house locations since the 1990s is undeniable. Culture is inherently infused in coffee, and coffee houses help create the coffee culture experience.

At the local coffee house, we meet friends or have date nights. We have meetings with colleagues or clients. We may even meet and engage in conversation with someone new. It’s a great place to socialize, connect and sometimes, just relax with a cup of coffee.

Coffee is easily adapted in any cultural context. It brings together communities. That’s why Cap Saurage, founder of Community Coffee Company, named the brand out of appreciation for his community of friends and customers. He wanted to celebrate the community he served. Coffee connects us.