The Bean Goes On

In a recent CBS online story, reporter Nancy Giles shared her answers to some “burning questions” about coffee. From the merchandising of brewers to a cupping expert, Ms Giles took the viewer/reader through a short but quick search for what’s driving the change in the coffee culture. What used to be a simple order in a restaurant – black, with sugar or with sugar and cream- now involves a long list of choices, many of which are in a foreign language – Macchiato, espresso con panna…

She mentions the status symbol in the coffee world of grinding your own beans and points out the myriads of coffee brewers, wondering if the yuppies are to blame for the exploding coffee industry. She didn’t even touch on the variety and range of grinders, frothers - not to mention roasters. If grinding your own coffee gives status, certainly the home roasting crowd receives even more prestige.

Ms. Giles’ presentation was humorous, although she never did answer her question about who’s behind the sudden coffee culture growth. We can all come up with our favorite theories. Is it growth in leisure time? Did the growing rejection of smoking and/or alcohol cause a change in the social venue of the bar and tavern as the gathering place, driving the more health-conscious to the coffee shop? It wasn’t that long ago that late-hour socializing took place at Denny’s, where coffee lovers had to be satisfied with the bottomless cup of drip coffee. The only variations on the plain cup developed when a customer ordered ice cream to accompany the coffee and, by dropping a scoop in their cup, invented the iced cappuccino (without the ice).

As long as coffee entrepreneurs possess creativity and imagination, the coffee culture will evolve. Recently, Torani introduced bacon-flavored syrup which should make the bacon latte more available. Some cafes have already been producing lattes with bacon pieces and maple syrup. Does this indicate a coffee-based meal-in-a-cup will soon be introduced in a coffee shop near you? All they need to add is the pancake…..

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.