Coffee culture

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Royal Grounds coffee. | Photo by Emily Durenberger

Bethel University’s Royal Grounds celebrates National Coffee Day.

Emily Durenberger | Features Photographer

What is it about coffee that we are so crazy about? Wake up in the morning, walk down the hallway and almost every student has a coffee in hand. Walk into a coffee shop, and it’s almost always packed full with people; all of them drinking a beverage of choice, most commonly coffee. Pictures are constantly posted on social media of it. Why coffee?

Coffee was not always the trend that it is today. In the 1970’s most of the coffee came in cans. Coffee drinking was declining due to the roasts weren’t exciting; light and bland.

In 1962 Kystal D’Costa reported in her article The Culture of Coffee Drinkers that coffee growers and retailers realized that the 20-29 year old generation had little interest in coffee. Most of them associated the drink with their parents or grandparents.

In order for the coffee industry to survive, it formed a new marketing strategy: to emphasize quality, value and image by creating segmented products to increase the appeal. It saw that the consumer needed to become aware of what made coffee worth its price. And so came the birth of specialty coffee.

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Bethel student enjoys coffee from the Royal Grounds. | Photo by Emily Durenberger

“Coffee drinkers are becoming identified by the brand they drink and coffee shops they visit,” said senior at Bethel University Sydney Graham. “Posting coffee pictures is trendy. It’s about presenting the ideal version of you. It shows people that you’re doing something.”

The industry had a vision: a type of coffee to appeal to every person, including flavored coffees. “Coffee for the aficionados, the penny counters, those on the go and the senior community,” said D’Costa in her article The Culture of Coffee Drinkers, “A different coffee for every aspect of life.”

Coffee became more personal and accessible. We began to be taught to socialize over coffee and to look for a boost in productivity from this now so popular drink.

Our society demands productivity. We are surrounded by coffee and caffeine, which gets our day started with a boost of energy. The more energy we have, the more productive we are. Caffeine is the most commonly used stimulant in our population.

“We live in an individualistic society where our happiness is based off how successful we are. That influences the coffee industry. To be successful you have to be awake and alert, and coffee does that for people,” said Bethel senior Kat Estrada.

The Grill and Royal Grounds will provide coffee for one dollar in honor of #nationalcoffeeday.

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