Review of coffee

Maddie Bland

The following is a student submission from Mrs. Reichenbach’s Dual Credit English 102 class:

Coffee is a brewed beverage made from the beans of plants from the genus Coffea, a collection of several species of broad-leafed evergreen shrubs. The word itself is derived from a long and kind of complicated past. The English word coffee came from the Dutch word “koffie,” which came from the Turkish word “kahve,” which came from the Arabic word “qahwa,” which is short for “qahhwat al-bun,” a phrase meaning “wine of the bean” (History of Coffee). What a mouthful. The drink itself is known for its wide variety of flavors and is enjoyed across the globe. Each country boasts its own unique “culture” surrounding coffee. Columbia, for example, is a worldwide favorite coffee producer. Columbian coffee is known for being smooth, aromatic, and unusually rich. It makes me wonder what American coffee culture includes- Starbucks Frappuccinos?

Coffee drinking has always been an integral part of my family. When I was younger, my grandparents would come over multiple times a week to drink coffee and visit with my parents. My dad has had a monthly coffee subscription that arrives on our doorstep with new blends to try for as long as I can remember. Workers at my family’s favorite coffee shops even recognize our cars when we arrive and start making our drinks before we even reach the counter. I have consumed enough coffee in my lifetime to rival the average American adult, which is rather concerning considering the fact that more than half of Americans drink coffee daily (Chou). However, I didn’t use to enjoy coffee at all. I still remember my first time taking a sip of my dad’s dark roast. I spit it out. On the carpet. Every time younger me expressed my disgust at the bitter flavor of coffee, my parents would simply laugh at me and say “it’s an acquired taste.” Well, I’d say based on the amount of caffeine I consume that I have indeed acquired the taste. Coffee is such a versatile drink, with so many different flavors, textures, and options to choose from. Some brews are smooth and dark and bold, while others taste closer to a milkshake than to something I should have with my breakfast. 

The peak of my coffee drinking always comes around during the winter months. As an Idaho resident, I’ve dealt with some pretty intense winters in my lifetime, and nothing (and I mean nothing) can keep me warm. The only thing that I even slightly look forward to in the winter is seasonal drinks. I love peppermint mochas with an undying passion. I spend hundreds of dollars on hot coffee during the winter (not that I don’t spend a notable sum of money on coffee during other seasons too; fall drinks take a close second to winter flavors). If a lethal dose of coffee is 100 cups, I might come pretty close to death from October to January.

The general population’s consensus also seems to be in favor of death by caffeine. Last November, Starbucks reported $6.1 billion in revenue for their previous quarter, even in the midst of a nationwide inflation crisis (Yang). People are crazy about coffee. It’s a viewpoint I would have scoffed at when I was eight years old watching my family drink coffee in my living room (as I’m sure most others would at that age- it is an acquired taste after all). Yet, now that I too am an avid coffee drinker, ridiculous numbers like 6.1 billion don’t seem all that ridiculous. People spent that much on what? Coffee? Oh, that makes sense. Even though the average Starbucks drink probably has more sugar than what is recommended to be consumed daily, the number seems reasonable. Coffee just has that power- over me, over my family, and over pretty much everybody else. 

Maybe it’s more than just the delicious flavor of coffee that has such a chokehold on the world. Maybe it’s about the ability to bring us together. Through coffee dates with friends, early morning cups on the front porch with a partner, or late-night visits in the living room with family, coffee unites us with our fellow fanatics. Perhaps my taste for coffee taste was acquired less so by just its flavor, and more because I wanted to sit and drink coffee with my family on those nights my grandparents came over and feel included. Either way, in contrast to the eight-year-old girl who hated the flavor of such a bitter beverage, this sixteen-year-old gives coffee four and a half stars.

Works Cited

Chou, T. “Wake Up and Smell the Coffee: Caffeine, Coffee, and the Medical Consequences.” National Library of Medicine, 10 August 2022, Accessed 6 February 2023.

“The Origins and History of Coffee.” History of Coffee – Discovery of Coffee Plant, Accessed 7 February 2023.

Yang, Mary. “Starbucks reports massive sales as prices stay high amid inflation.” NPR, 3 November 2022, Accessed 7 February 2023.