TO GET AN idea of how much coffee is consumed by Americans, consider the case of researchers in the Seattle area. Thinking they could trace the flow of pollutants in the Puget Sound and the currents that carried them, scientists began taking caffeine samples. Unfortunately, the amount of caffeine proved so great it made the data unusable. According to an Associated Press article, caffeine was found in more than 160 of 216 samples in water as deep as 640 feet. Where did all the caffeine come from? Human bladders and coffee spilled on the street.
Meanwhile, the Web site coffeereasearch.org reports “The National Coffee Association found in 2000 that 54 percent of the adult population of the United States drinks coffee daily,” and “the average consumption in the United States is 3.1 cups of coffee per day.” It seems there may be some truth to the very catchy Dunkin’ Donuts slogan. The American economy is in some way driven by coffee.
The beverage has become more than an early morning necessity. Coffee sets trends and influences style. Starbucks may be responsible for reinventing the coffee industry image and capitalizing on the counter-culture which relied on cafes. Now models wander out of posters for expensive clothing lines and into posters for mochaccinos.
Where the drink goes, the container follows. “I just think that drinkware, in general, has become more of a stylish, like a fashion, type of product,” said Robert Gluck, vice president of New Hyde Park, New York-based Gordon Industries. “Today people want something different; they want some style,” he said of end-users’ drinkware preferences.
Rachel Halpern, president of Gordon Industries, agreed but asserted style is only part of the equation: “[A drinkware item] doesn’t only have to be aesthetically unusual and great looking,” she said. “It’s got to be comfortable.” In fact, Halpern said a successful drinkware item “has to be comfortable and safe and smart.”