The Culture of Coffee

coffee beans

Written by Leanna Westerhof. Media by Kayla Morton.


The coffee shop at Greenville college.

As we start the second semester some of us are already dreading our classes and workload. Some of us require that extra boost of caffeine in the morning in order to make it to class without looking like a zombie. You know the people that I am talking about; the frequent visitors to Jo’s Java who bring their coffee to class with them every day. However, why do students feel the need to drink coffee? Is it an addiction to caffeine? Is it for the flavor? Or is it something else?

Senior biology major, Code Power, is an avid coffee drinker and regularly brings coffee to his classes. Chatting with him, I asked how he got started with this “coffee business,” and he told me that he started drinking coffee his freshman year during finals week. Hearing that, I think we can all agree that it is an okay reason to start drinking coffee as finals are a very busy and stressful time. Code went on to say that after three years of drinking coffee he now cares more about the taste and quality of the coffee rather than caffeine.

Researching the benefits of coffee, there are many positive things to be said about it. According to Huffington Post, there have been studies that show coffee is an excellent preventative of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Type 2 Diabetes. It is one of the world’s leading foods in antioxidants and two or more cups of coffee in a day can lead to great health benefits. However, if you suffer from high blood pressure, coffee may not the best choice for you.

A student sits drinking coffee.
Photo by Leanna Westerhof

The culture of coffee is a curious thing because it is universal. People all over the world drink coffee as part of their daily lives. Senior Brittany Caldwell has more experience with this because she studied abroad in Nicaragua, which is where she fell in love with coffee. She drank it black every morning at six for about three and a half months. While she was there she had the opportunity to tour a coffee plantation and learn how they harvest and roast the coffee beans. When asked what her favorite things about drinking coffee are she replied,

“I love the feeling of a hot cup of coffee in the early morning while spending time with the Lord. If I know I’m drinking coffee that is fairly and ethically produced I feel like I’m able to empower the people that produce the coffee just through my little purchase even if they are on the other side of the world.”

Coffee mug sitting in an empty coffee shop

It is fascinating that drinking a cup of coffee in the morning and having quiet time with the Lord can create peace and contentment deep inside of you. Why is it like this? Why is it that having a hot mug of something in your hands makes all of your troubles fall away even if for a short amount of time? I encourage if you if you are starting to feel the stress of second semester to take a moment and sit with your cup of coffee or hot chocolate and just be silent.



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