Here’s something to perk up your afternoon: Tuesday, Sept. 29, is National Coffee Day!
As a nation, the United States consumes the most total coffee, but that doesn’t boil down to that much per capita – less than one cup (0.93) per person per day, according to statistics compiled by Euromonitor. In this recent study, the Netherlands topped the list, averaging 2.4 cups per day per person, followed by Finland (1.84), Sweden (1.35) and Denmark (1.23).
Coffee-producing nations such as Costa Rica (0.79), Brazil (0.48) and Columbia (0.47) average less than a cup per person, too. While Brazil and Columbia rank Nos. 1 and 3 respectively in total coffee production, No. 2 – Vietnam – barely registers among coffee consumers, averaging less than 0.03 cups per person.
After crude oil, coffee is the second most sought-after commodity in the world, according to the National Coffee Association. It’s also the second most consumed beverage, behind only water.
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How did American become hooked on coffee? Lore traces our coffee devotion back to the Revolution and the Boston Tea Party. Patriots made the switch from tea to coffee, which was introduced to the colonies by Dutch immigrants. Thomas Jefferson declared: “Coffee – the drink of the civilized world.”
By NCA statistics, the majority of beans drunk by U.S. consumers now comes from Mexico, which produced almost 530 million pounds of coffee in 2014.
Appealing to America’s nonstop taste for coffee, new products keep percolating. Among new introductions:
▪ Eight O’Clock Coffee Thins, which were launched Tuesday online, are “edible coffee treats” made from 100 percent coffee beans. Available in three flavors (original, French vanilla and hazelnut), the treats were created with Tierra Nueva, a Florida-based company that originated the Coffee Thin. The treats look like chocolate squares but offer a sweet jolt of caffeine. For a free sample of Eight O’Clock Coffee Thins, go to www.EightOClock.com. They’ll also be available at Walmart stores; suggested retail price, $1.29 for three.
▪ Love McDonald’s coffee? Make your own at home with McCafé ground coffee. It’s now available in seven flavors at Walmart; suggested retail price, $5.84 for 12 ounces ground or $10.94 for 18 single-serve K-Cups.
▪ Prefer your coffee cold? Maxwell House, one of the nation’s oldest brands, rolled out iced coffee concentrate; just add water and ice. Suggested retail: $4 for 1.62 ounces, enough for 10 (8-ounce) servings.