UNITED STATES. Have you ever noticed that coffee seems to be the universal drink for conversation, work and daily life? After traveling to over 35 countries, I haven’t yet been to a place where coffee has not been available or offered to me. It is amazing that coffee has been around years yet it seems like there is an ever-growing craze for it now so much so that true coffee lovers can easily distinguish flavors, types, and place of origin. For example:

  • Latin & South America, notably Costa Rica & Colombia, are best known for their rich coffee beans that are exported around the world
  • Europe has countless coffee shops, cafes, and bakeries that offer a variety of coffees, especially Italy where strong espressos & cappuccinos were created. While living in France I noticed the popularity of McDonald’s McCafe, which offers those same upscale drinks and pastries!
  • North America has plenty of coffee store chains such as Starbucks & Dunkin Donuts. Foreigners who are used to stronger flavors usually think this region’s coffee is too watered-down or altered with milk, cream, and sugar, but we love it! Here in the United States, coffee is exceedingly popular with the working class who consume it to keep them going throughout the day and with university students who need a boost to study. If you visit Starbuck’s headquarters in Seattle, Washington, there are hundreds of stores (some streets have two) and you can visit the very first Starbucks shop that opened in 1971!
  • Although Asia has a more prominent tea culture, companies like Starbucks are increasing their presence
  • During my semester in Australia, it took me a while to understand how to order coffee because drinks are named by color and cup size: Tall Black, Short White (like a latte, as “White” is for milk), etc. Once I got the hang of it and ordered the correct one, I enjoyed it just as much as anywhere else!

I think the hype of coffee these days is that consumers like me enjoy the sights, sounds, ambiance, and aromas of coffee shops; smelling the brewed coffee, hearing the espresso machine spew hot milk and enjoying the tranquil music and lighting. We also appreciate the art it is has become to make one single cup. With whipped cream and designs made out of caramel, chocolate, cinnamon, or sugar, your beverage becomes a masterpiece that is worth capturing with a photo and sharing on Instagram or Facebook. Sometimes though, the creativity exceeds the socially acceptable amount of complexity. Whenever I visit a Starbucks and hear ridiculously complicated orders such as a “grande, non-fat, skinny latte, with extra foam, no sugar, and a shot of espresso” I wonder how those baristas remember all of that!

Next time you order a cup of coffee, an espresso, cappuccino, Frappuccino, latte or whatever else your heart (or stomach) may desire, sip slowly and indulge in each flavor; you may enjoy it that much more.