Picture this: You are driving to school in the morning around 8am. It’s a Wednesday, and you are thinking about the rather stress-producing tasks that await you on campus, like taking a Human Anatomy and Physiology exam, turning in a history paper on ancient civilizations in Mesopotamia, and presenting a PowerPoint project on the importance of recycling in Geography of World Affairs. As you stop and go in the snake-like traffic, your eyes pan over the dashboard and then fix upon the clock. It reads 8:16am—Oh no! The exam starts at 8:30am without exceptions, which means that a very tough decision—both involving your success in school—lies before you: Do you make a quick stop on the corner Starbucks? Or do you choose to arrive for the test on time?
How you answered the aforementioned questions and handled this theoretically difficult situation is likely indicative of your addiction, or lack there-of. What addiction am I talking about? Caffeine, of course! Because we live in a region where the sun never shines and the rain forever falls, we Seattleites have turned to the always-dependable coffeehouse to liven our spirits and engage our senses.
According to TheCoffeeBump.com, our city has the highest number of coffee shops per 100,000 residents, which is significantly higher than the number two and three spots filled by Manhattan and San Francisco, respectively. This fact comes as no surprise—since Howard Shultz basically reinvented the modern coffee establishment when he took the reigns of the Puget Sound’s Starbucks in 1983, which later became an internationally-known, billion-dollar corporation.
In fact, we love our Seattle espresso—which comes in virtually all flavors, temperatures, consistencies and sizes—so much, that we’ve created another avenue to demonstrate our cappuccino-concocting abilities. It’s affectionately referred to as “Latte Art” by the majority of coffee connoisseurs around the world, and can be described as the technique of producing shapes and images in the foam of the drink. It can be added to the long list of already detailed and complex procedures required of the (competent) barista to pull the perfect shot. In other words, exceptional Latte Art is the whip cream and cherry on top of it all, and essentially marks the territory of a Master Barista.
But why do we have such an intense need for our morning, afternoon and post-dinner java? The answer likely has to do with caffeine’s chemical effects on the human brain and nervous system. Just a couple of the drug’s so-called cures: alleviation the fatigue in sore, tired muscles, and almost immediate increases in cognitive awareness and reaction time.
No wonder Seattlelites can’t get enough of this so-called “miracle beverage.” Its consumption (or lack thereof) seems to directly predict one’s success rate in his or her completion of daily tasks: the greater the consumption, the higher the success rate.
In other words, students like you and I are able to stay awake in class, remain focused during study sessions and obtain perfectly flawless 4.0 GPAs in every subject.
Now who needs a coffee break?!