People tend to always relate good coffee to Europe. I’ve had folks turn down a cup of coffee from me because ‘they just got back from a European vacation and American coffee just isn’t as good’. Yes it is commonplace to spend much more time sitting at a cafe, sipping a 4 oz coffee in European countries such as France or Italy, but does that mean the coffee is superior ? Or that the Baristas there know more about extracting the right flavors from the coffee?
This is surely a matter of opinion in most cases. I know quite a few people that genuinely enjoy poorly extracted coffee. They call the bitterness, strength, or refer to the sourness as ‘notes of fruity flavors’. Well when it comes down to my opinion, I’d look to the culture who’s making the most coffee.
Currently North America is importing 30% of the worlds coffee crop, leaving the rest of the world to fight over the remaining two thirds. Other countries, such as France, Italy and Spain that are famous for their consumption of coffee are only bringing in a collective 20.1% of the worlds coffee. When we look at per capita statistics, it is clear that Italians drink, on average 1 more cup of coffee per day than Americans, but given that we service such a high volume of people, It seems we roast, brew and serve more coffee. Now the grand point here is not that we make better coffee in the states… Again, I’ll leave that up to you and your taste buddies.
It is that we drink an incredible amount of coffee. 2.72 billion pounds a year to be exact. Thats a lot of farming, cultivating, drying, shipping, roasting and brewing… and I must say, I am happy to be a part of an industry that directly supports 3rd world communities all over the world. And you should be too!