Continuing the Coffee Craze
By Daniel Pinzon
Coffee was, at first, just a cup of coffee. It was caffeine that would help me stay awake. I didn’t care for the taste and I didn’t care for the add-in milk or sugar. I cared about the added hours of alertness. Every cup of coffee I had could only be described as tasting like coffee.
Society made coffee creative and incorporated it into most people’s morning routine. Coffee is the original Monster, the original 5-hour Energy. However, even with all these new methods of sustaining energy, the majority of us still drinking coffee. The variety of coffee that we have now makes it harder to overlook it. There are many variations of coffee, such as espressos and coffee with different flavors, that add to the value of coffee.
To many college students, it’s definitely seen as valuable.
“I wouldn’t make it through law school without my cup of coffee in the morning every day,” said Kelly Manolopoulus, a first year law student at Albany Law School.
Michaela Pickett, a junior at the University at Albany, said, “Coffee is seriously the go-to when it’s time to be productive. It’s like a must for a busy person.”
Coffee goes beyond a rush of caffeine – it has a cultural impact.
“Coffee has a huge value… [it’s] different everywhere you go, every country is different, value is different in every country. Colombia has changed their community from growing cocaine to [growing] coffee. China suffered when the sugar cane market let out, then with the introduction of coffee, they had the idea of growing specialty coffee,” said Jake Griffin, a wholesale account representative of Irving Farm Coffee Roasters. “It changed the community…the community was revitalized due to coffee, therefore coffee had value in the community. Amaro Gayo, a coffee blend from Ethiopia, had its value aligned with women’s rights. Roasting coffee brought an unprecedented woman the ability to hold property, as well as security.”
Coffee has more depth than people think. It’s influential, meaningful and important in society. So let me set the record straight on some things.
A macchiato is not the size of your arm. It’s actually an espresso shot with a smidge of steamed milk and from that, the next drink varies mainly in the amount of steamed milk. A cortado is actually the corresponding amount of steamed milk to espresso. A cappuccino has more milk than that and a latte has even more milk.
Moreover, coffee can have actual flavor to it, and it’s not just flavor from the common caramel syrup most people add to their drink. A coffee bean can be fermented, washed and dried in ways that bring out the different tasting notes. Coffee can genuinely taste like a mouthful of blueberries or a handful of chocolate cherries. It’s very interesting to note that just in the way the coffee bean is treated can actually make a difference. It’s not only reliant on your coffee machine settings, it’s beyond that.
And I’m not going to shame the fast food versions of coffee shops, such as Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks. We all need a fix of caffeine every now and then, and it doesn’t have to be more than just a cup of coffee. These fixes are solely for the purpose to be up. And I’m guilty of getting caramel iced lattes at Dunkin Donuts, however I’ve tasted washed process coffee and enjoyed the taste of genuine jasmine, lemon and sweetness. Yet it’s important to consider that your cup of coffee can actually be more than just that.
“I’ve realized coffee can be complex in flavors…baristas have complete power,” Griffin said. “They have full control of making a cup of coffee. Extensive training is put into this process, it’s not just putting grinds in a coffee filter, it’s making sure the grinds are the right size, the beans are fresh, that the water has flowed between them properly. It can inspire people…the last sip you take before you leave a restaurant should leave you happy. And a crappy cup of coffee doesn’t do that, it should be flawless.”
Coffee is the new kid on the block. It’s doing what wine did, but possibly better. People should acknowledge how society is now capable of specializing in anything now. And it may seem weird, quirky and unnecessary in the world, but these specialized products open up a new world of opportunity. Yes, it is just a cup of coffee, but now there’s a business revolving around it. Not only do people have more access to fancy coffee, but opportunities can be available to them.