What is modern coffee culture?

Coffee culture is the set of traditions and social behaviors that surround the consumption of coffee, particularly as a social lubricant. The term also refers to the cultural diffusion and adoption of coffee as a widely consumed stimulant. Coffee adapts easily to any cultural context. That's why Cap Saurage, founder of Community Coffee Company, named the brand in gratitude to his community of friends and customers.

I wanted to celebrate the community that I served. In modern coffee culture, coffee is often drunk in the morning to increase caffeine early in the day. Coffee shops and restaurants are the pillars of modern coffee culture and the main contributors to the overall economy. In other countries, such as those in the Middle East or Russia, it focuses more on social situations and is consumed less frequently.

Take the coffee culture in Italy, for example: Italians' idea of consuming coffee is talking to the waiter at a local bar. As is the case with most cultural and economic trends, the way in which this current wave is defined will be more clear in retrospect, but the consensus seems to be that coffee from the fourth wave focuses on creating premium access for the masses, as well as on preparing the best possible coffee through scientific studies on the grain. In the 19th century, a special coffee shop was developed in Vienna, the Viennese coffee shop, which later spread throughout Central Europe. With its emphasis on what can be done with coffee and not on how beans are ground and prepared, second-wave coffee made consumers demand new variations of an old beverage.

The term coffee culture also refers to the prevalence and use of coffee as a stimulant widely consumed by a crop. The coffee waves are periods of time defined by the relationship of the coffee industry with its consumers and their access to and appreciation for the beverage. Coffee beans are roasted over an open fire and are consumed very easily, and coffee consumption is reserved for important occasions. The Four Coffee Waves show how, historically, community and culture have shaped the social meaning of beans in the modern coffee landscape.

Legend has it that coffee was discovered centuries ago by an Ethiopian farmer, Kaldi, who watched his goats eat the cherries in the coffee and exhibit strange and exuberant behavior. The long Ethiopian coffee ceremony, which involves washing, roasting, grinding and boiling coffee beans, is both a sensory experience and an act of consumption. The Industrial Revolution had already put mass-produced commercial products, such as coffee, on the map, but coffee didn't become a household staple until the 1950s. As coffees began to offer sweet specialty beverages and package their own blond and medium roasts, coffee became more than just bitter and dark roasts available in the coffee aisle, and consumers became more demanding.

On the other hand, Swedes see coffee consumption as a Fika tradition, which involves scheduling a specific time of day to drink coffee with attention. The Viennese coffee shop, listed by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage, is a place designed to stay quietly, “where time and space are consumed, but only coffee appears on the bill. From instant coffee machines to advanced coffee machines to drive-in theaters, takeaway coffee has become a new standard in the United States.

Norman Bretthauer
Norman Bretthauer

Friendly explorer. Devoted travel scholar. Infuriatingly humble coffee lover. Unapologetic musicaholic. Subtly charming tv maven.

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