Did you have a cup of coffee on International Coffee Day?
Chances are you did.
Because chances are you have a cup of coffee every day.
According to the Coffee Association of Canada, coffee is second only to water as the most-consumed beverage in Canada. Tea is a very distant third. 65% of Canadians aged 18-79 say they’ve had a cup of coffee in the past 24 hours.
Around the world, an estimated 2.25 billion cups of coffee are brewed each day, making coffee the second most-traded commodity. Crude oil is the first.
Entire chains like Starbucks and Second Cup are built on our love of a cuppa. For Canadians, Tim Hortons is the cup of choice. They claim to serve 4 out of every 5 cups of coffee sold in Canada.
“I’ve tried to live without it and life just isn’t the same,” says Julia Dupuis, enjoying a cup at Second Cup. “The warmth, the smell, the comfort. I don’t know what it is.”
“I’m one of those people that needs to have a cup of coffee every day in the morning,” says Emma Jia at Blue Bird Coffee. Without it she admits to being “Cranky. Not so nice. Not so productive.”
Coffee, and its inherent caffeine, has been the subject of countless health studies. The general consensus these days is that it is fairly benign and might even be slightly beneficial. According to the Mayo Clinic, in addition to improving cognitive function, there is evidence it can help prevent or mitigate Alzheimer’ and Parkinson’ disease, liver disease, and type 2 diabetes.
On the down side, there is also evidence to suggest it increases blood pressure and can, for some, increase the risk of heart disease. It can increase anxiety and contribute to insomnia. Certain brews can also raise cholesterol.
And then there can be withdrawal symptoms if we don’t get our regular fix, including headaches, irritability, lethargy, and even depression.
But a caffeine pick-me-up isn’t the only reason coffee is so popular. It is also a social beverage. Even though it’s cheaper to brew it at home, 35% of all coffee consumed in Canada is sipped outside the house. “They pay a little more and they come and sit here,” says Raymond Roy, owner of Blue Bird Coffee. “It’s a very social thing to do."