The Rest of the World Serves a Strong Cup of Joe - Why is America's Coffee so Weak?
After I would drink some coffee I would do things. I grew up drinkng weak American coffee. However, when I drank americano coffee overseas for the first time, I did many things. When I left America, missed the commercial sized Dunkin' Donut coffee bags I would buy in bulk from Costco (Costco is still one of the only things I miss about the US).
Dunkin' Donuts used to be my favorite coffee. I would drink it religiously. I thought it was so smooth, yet a little sweet. I could drink gallons of it.
Fast forward a few years, after traveling a bit and my palate becoming more refined. I understand that commercial coffee is simply watered down, cheap industrial, bean water. I asked myself, why is American coffee so weak?
It's what every huge corporation does. They maximize profits and make it convenient for consumers to consume mass quantities.
Nothing wrong with maximizing profits. It's capitalism at its finest. It's up to us consumers to put in a little bit of effort to actually find decent products.
Luckily for me it happened by accident. Not every Eastern European company has a Dunkin' Donuts. Turkey, Dubai, and even the Republic of Georgia has Dunkin' Donuts. When I first started traveling I would go there for my caffeine fix.
I detest Starbucks too, but that's another story. If there wasn't a Dunkin' Donuts around and I was forced to go to a local coffee shop, I grudgingly would.
I am glad I was forced too. Like a kid forced to play an instrument because their parents wanted them to be well rounded, I am thankful I was forced to drink non-corporate American coffee.
Don't get me wrong. I still drink corporate coffee like illys. However, I am more selective of their flavors and they're simply hands down better coffee.
Meth Infused Coffee?
There are so many obscure brands of coffee out there. Each coffee shop either has an exclusive deal with a coffee brand. Maybe they produce their brand of coffee.
However, once I drank an Iranian coffee that literally made me feel I was having anxiety attacks throughout the day. I thought maybe it was something else causing these bouts of anxiety (I sometimes took Modifinil to get me through days). One day a friend came over for coffee and conversation. When she left so mentioned that the coffee had some kick to it.
I stopped drinking it immediately. It was so cheap too due to the exchange rate. A 500ml bag came out to $1.50 USD.
Boy did it have some kick! Some serious Hi-Yaw! I once took half an adderall in college to stay up and study. I couldn't study. I was too jittery. I wanted to jog. I have a feeling it's how Forrest Gump felt when he said, "I just felt like running".
This is what that coffee was like. I don't know what crystal meth is like, but I felt like the coffee had some in it. I even felt like I looked like a drug addled meth head from Breaking Bad. The coffee was similar to Death Wish coffee. The coffee brand that claims to have the most caffeine. I would bet my bottom dollar that this Iranian coffee has more caffeine in it. I should do a study.
The Reason Why America's Coffee is Weak
So why is American coffee so weak? It basically comes down to cost. (Doesn't almost everything). A majority of Americans prefer smooth and sweet coffee. Coffee is naturally bitter, therefore Americans dilute it with much more water than is required.
Also cheap quality beans. Commercial coffee has been force fed to us since we were born. Remember Folgers commercials? It's the best part of waking up. I still remember the jingle. Talk about a good marketing team.
The coffee is packaged beautifully, or elegantly if it's gourmet coffee. Then marketed to us in every corner we look.
To break it down in the simplest terms, the reason American coffee is so weak is we're used to it and it's cheaper to make in mass production and too much water is added to reduce the acidic taste.
It's why smaller brand companies fail. They can't compete with the price that huge corporations offer. Starbucks has their own facilities that does everything from start to finish. They create various coffee flavors from their own unwashed java berries and process it into the bitter bean dishwater American's love to consume.
How many people do you know drink black coffee? You can probably count them on one hand. They're also probably recovering alcoholics (personal opinion).
This isn't the case overseas. Italians drink espresso shots, pinkies up, with a piece of chocolate. They don't drink it that often either.
How Much Do Americans Spend on Coffee?
Another reason why American coffee is so weak is because they drink a ton of it. The average American spends over $1000 a year on coffee. You'd think they drink the most at that quantity, but it's Finland that drinks the most.
American's drink so much diluted coffee that their stomach's probably couldn't handle that much strong coffee.
Have you seen the huge cups they offer at 7-11? You can't find those size cups of anything (maybe beer) at any convenience store except in North America. It would also seem classless to carry a huge Big Gulp cup with you everywhere.
Coffee is a Social Thing
Drinking coffee isn't something to do, but it's more like maintenance in the US. American's need coffee in the morning because it's part of their routine. If it's at work, it's usually free. Might as well drink it. Also gives them a reason to leave their desk.
However, in foreign countries, coffee is a social event. People get together at coffee shops to talk. Especially in Middle Eastern countries where alcohol is forbidden. Their coffee shops are packed at night. They sit for hours. I noticed tea is a big thing abroad. Especially in the morning.
First I drink foreign coffee then I do many more things than if I were to drink weak American coffee.