Wednesday Open Line


Several decades ago, America’s coffee culture featured very little variety. Average annual per capita consumption was high, reaching 46 gallons in 1946. But it mostly was a uniform roast, made by a percolator or a drip method. Such variety as existed was pretty much limited to ethnic restaurants and a scattering of hip coffee shops. No more. Even with American consumption down to 23.5 gallons per capita, coffee has become a lifestyle choice. So January is Coffee Gourmet International Month, continuing the drive toward varied flavors and preparations. Three quarters of Americans drink their three daily cups at home. But when away from home, and not at work, there are about 19,500 coffee shops across the country serving the beverage. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online at <www.census.gov>.