The Demise of the Coffee Cup (and Coffee)

Coffee used to be simple. It was what we drank in the morning to wake up. It was a grown-up drink. An acquired taste. Something that smelled good, but tasted just OK. For years, coffee was consumed in moderation, not guzzled like an SUV goes through gasoline. But now, something has gone wrong. We’ve allowed coffee to take us over. To dominate our street corners and our pocketbooks. At ten bucks a day for a couple coffee drinks, many of us have to budget coffee. We tell our accountants that we need more money. That we can’t afford our habit. That the large cups are distorting our demand, and the supply is lacking. “We need more,” we shout, but only the devil, disguised as a busty coffee goddess named Starbucks, hears us.

At 25 years old, I’m young compared to coffee. But, I’ve seen enough old movies and heard enough stories of the “good ol’ days” to know the truth. I didn’t live the ups and downs of coffee, but I can empathize because we are in a coffee recession right now. Not for lack of coffee, but for lack of appreciation – for lack of respect.

The old movies show gritty detectives walking over to a grimy glass pot half full of day old coffee with grounds settled to the bottom. These men don’t grab a cup the size of the town water tower. They get a small white styrofoam cup and fill it up far enough to warm cold hands, but not so high that the simple act of walking will cause the coffee to spill and burn their hands. This is the kind of cup coffee was made for.

And jackets? Why does my coffee cup need a jacket? Why do I have to go through the trouble of putting a jacket on my coffee? Shouldn’t, considering the technological advances made during the past century, the jacket be attached to the cup?

And my biggest pet peeve. The one that gets me with each purchase is the modern cup seam that forms a tiny gap between the lid and the lower part of the seam that allows coffee to leak through and drip onto my fingers while I’m walking to class. If the coffee is hot, I get burned. If it’s cold, then it’s just disgusting. Either way, I can’t imagine a gritty detective having to deal with this distraction. It just wouldn’t happen then, and there’s no reason to tolerate it now. We deserve better.

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Attorney & Amateur Golfer

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