A good cup of Joe!

Well, as I sit here sipping my second large cup of strong “Nantucket” coffee flavored with a bit of hazelnut creamer, I read this article “The wired generations: Frothy coffees and sweet energy drinks make caffeine a drug for all ages” from the Boston Globe, I wonder what we have created in our young today… the future leaders of tomorrow! And then, I wonder did my dad, God rest his soul, wonder what was going on with my generation when I, at 12 years of age, was having a good ole cup of Joe with my dad in Resthaven Café in our hometown of Clarksdale, Mississippi?

Here is an excerpt from that 2005 article:

Many years before Starbucks and its offshoots became our all-purpose meeting places, coffee had a storied culture. In his historical novel ”The Coffee Trader,” David Liss tells of the excitement a new commodity — coffee — caused in 17th-century Amsterdam. ”Beer and wine may make a man sleepy,” says Geertruid, a businesswoman who suggests a partnership with the main character, Miguel. ”But coffee will make him awake and clearheaded.” She pauses for another sip. ”Coffee is the drink of commerce.”

The beverage, with its seductive jolt, became the modern drink for Europeans. Today it draws a younger and younger audience. Walk into any Starbucks located near a school around the time that it lets out and you’ll see boys and girls barely out of grammar school sipping big, creamy coffee drinks.

Heidi McIndoo sees many young patients — usually referred for weight loss issues — who consume a lot of caffeine. The dietitian works for Greater Roslindale Medical and Dental Center. ”They don’t drink coffee like their parents might, but they’re going to get Frappuccinos or other coffee drinks, and drink Red Bull.” Some beverages ”taste like a milkshake but have a double shot of espresso,” says McIndoo, plus sugar and calories. ”There’s a chance that the kids are getting more caffeine than their parents.

”There’s nothing wrong with a cup of coffee,” McIndoo says, but when sodas and energy drinks are added in, the daily dose can be significant — and affect sleeping patterns.

And then there’s the cost. Vodka with Red Bull can cost about $12, depending on the brand of liquor. Starbucks’s coffee drinks top out at about $4.25. At 7-Eleven, a 32-ounce Big Gulp of Mountain Dew is $1.59. And for those who seek extra caffeine at a convenience store and pick up a DoubleShot (two shots of espresso plus cream in a can), that can set you back $2.29. DoubleShot is targeted to an 18-to-24-year-old market, says Nicole Bradley, public relations manager for Pepsi Cola North America, which sells the beverage in a partnership with Starbucks. The 6.5-ounce cans really took off after last year’s television ad campaign in which a young man named Glen gets his day going with DoubleShot while catchy music plays.

Those ads are seen by kids of all ages. Lindauer, the Northeastern law student who loved a sip of coffee as a child, was shocked to learn that her 12-year-old brother walks with his friends from school to a Starbucks in town. ”The girls are wearing their pink UGGs and ordering $4 coffee drinks,” she says.

Has anybody ever heard of “Vodka and Red Bull?” Your thoughts and comments are welcome… I will read them as I sip my hot cup of coffee on this cold, dreary day!


Professor Dendy

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