I read it once that Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world. It's a bit hard to believe because apart from North America, this beverage is not consumed as much anywhere else. At least that's what I've experienced. The three big countries in the world, China, India and Russia are not Coffee drinking nations. It's not a popular drink in Asia at all unless for the people who wants to show that they are Westernized(!) In my recent trip to Iran after more than 6 years, I noticed that coffee shops have become popular among the youngsters because that makes them feel modernized! While drinking alcoholic beverages is prohibited and results in heavy fines, Coffee is the next thing to alcohol that people can drink to show they are from a high class society!
But Coffee is a favorite beverage in Arab countries and it's consumed completely different. It should be added here that Coffee was originated in Yemen, the county which is in the depth of a civil war now. It's a very beautiful country with a long history and thousands of year and now has become the battlefield of Shia and Sunni, where Iran and Saudi Arabia are behind the opponents of this devastating religious war. The word Coffee is taken from Arabic word Qava ad through decades it has been changed and became Coffee with the pronunciation we hear it on daily bases.
Speaking of the different ways that Coffee is consumed reminded me of my trip to Damascus in the 90's. Syria was a stable and war-free country at the time under the rule of Hafez Al-Asad. We spent a week in the city and must say that we enjoyed ourselves. At one occasion we were in a cafe where people were playing Backgammon and drinking Coffee. We ordered that too and although years have passed I remember that it was served in tiny small cups, with no cream but lots of sugar. That was not bad for us who had very rare experience with coffee. Coffee was popular drink within Armenian minority at the time in Iran and it was being served in their family parties or similar gatherings. You probably have heard of Turkish Coffee and French Coffee which shows how different every nation drinks this beverage but still it's hard to believe that make it the second most traded commodity in the world!
I drink at least 2 cups every day myself and depending my whereabouts, I get it from different sources. My favorite was once Tim's Double Double but then I switched to McDonald's and now I get either one with no sugar and has recently started to eliminate cream as well. At home I have a Black&Decker coffee maker that I use at times, mostly weekends. Coffee machine are available in different capacities and shapes and models in the stores. You can by them from $20 to $250 and more. The one which has recently become popular is a single cup machine and I guess Tassimo is one of the leading brands. This, by far is the stupidest invention I've ever seen in food industry in my life anywhere! Imagine you have a few people over or sitting for breakfast with the family and relatives. You ought to make every cup of coffee, each after another and served them one by one! In fact the the time that the last person receives his or her coffee could be 10 or more minutes after the first one! I don't know what the idiot who brought this idea to work, was thinking but I'm sure he or she (most likely a he) was not even thinking of the huge amount of waste this stupid invention creates because in a Capitalist society people only think of money and that's all. Nothing else maters.
I don't know how popular these machines are within the society and how their markets are but I do know people jump to new things here as soon as they see it. So if you're a sane person with at least a little functioning brain in your skull, you'll never waste your money on such a garbage.
(Photo: Single Cup coffee maker on display in a major retailer)