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Waking Up America: The Guise of Coffee Culture and its Harmful Effects

analytical Essay
1444 words
1444 words
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Coffee, the bean we love. To many it is known as the magic elixir, brain juice, or nectar of the gods, while others see it as the devil in a cup. America is a country that is obsessed with its coffee, now more than ever before. Although coffee has spanned generations, the craze did not exist like it does today. According to anthropologist William Roseberry of UBC, coffee was on the decline in the 1960’s and hit an all time low in the 90’s with only half the country drinking about a cup a day (D’Costa). However, with coffee being the world’s most commonly traded commodity, second to crude oil, much money is at stake when people stop drinking it. Thus the coffee empire was rebuilt, coffee revamped, and redefined to suit the needs of the “me generation” by turning the product into an individual taste, image, and culture (D’Costa, Moore). When put into the hands of those who stood to profit, every angle of coffee was pushed and maximized until people consumed it, or in this case, bought into it. Accordingly, the coffee industry devised a very aggressive marketing strategy that appealed to every person by speaking to individual preferences with specialty coffees (D’Costa). Assertive entrepreneurs like Starbucks, dressed coffee up with exotic names and gave it its own terminology: venti, pico, plenta and for hardcore drinkers, “the quad”. They invented “the coffee experience” whereby coffee was no longer “just coffee”, but rather a “lifestyle” that continues to assert productivity at every hour-- an image that America glorifies, because in this millennium, it is how we define success (D’Costa). Placed into the hands of famous icons in films and TV shows, while associating brand names next to coffee, they generated status around this sim...

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... Nov. 2006. Web. 10 Apr. 2014. .
Moore, Victoria. "Environmental Impact of the Coffee Trade - Facts and Figures." Sustainable Business Toolkit. CSR, 31 Jan. 2013. Web. 23 Apr. 2014. .
Rancaño, Vanessa. "Waste: The Dark Side of the New Coffee Craze ." East Bay Express. East Bay Express, 21 Aug. 2013. Web. 11 Apr. 2014. .
Spitzer, Nina. "The Impact of Disposable Coffee Cups on the Environment." Living RSS. She Knows, 30 July 2009. Web. 25 Apr. 2014. .

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that america is obsessed with its coffee, now more than ever before. according to anthropologist william roseberry of ubc, coffee was on the decline in the 1960’s and hit an all-time low.
  • Argues that coffee culture is hard on the environment because the disposable cup is the badge of honor, which defines who they are by their coffee and the coffee houses they frequent.
  • Explains that disposable cups vary in environmental impact. styrofoam has no biodegradable properties and will never decompose, which means a cup in the landfill will exist in 500 years.
  • Analyzes the impact of burgeoning coffee culture on the environment in developing countries. monoculture and sun cultivation have disrupted the human-land use equilibrium.
  • Analyzes how the commercial success of the single-serve coffee maker is fast becoming coffee lovers' latest trend and trash.
  • Analyzes how coffee culture is a fabricated bond that unites all coffee drinkers. it's symbolized by the disposable cup and surrounds us at every corner by coffee shops.
  • Cites borg, john, d'costa, krystal, and moore, victoria. "environmental impact of the coffee trade - facts and figures."
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