Coffee consumption fuels city, University

Max Filby and Max Filby

Since the Fair Trade Foundation was established in 1995, Starbucks has purchased and brewed more than 90 million pounds of coffee.

“We usually go through between 20 to 30 pounds of coffee a day,” said Bowling Green Starbucks manager Jayson Hines.

Starbucks usually averages 600 customers per day between the hours of 5:00 a.m. and 12:00 a.m., Hines said. Hines drinks at least three grande iced caramel macchiatos a day along with multiple coffee taste tests, equaling about 12 shots of espresso.

A Starbucks coffee taste test is a four-step process. First, the coffee is brewed in a device called a French roaster, which allows the coffee grounds to settle to the bottom of a pot.

“French roast did a lot for improving coffee,” Hines said. “After the grounds sink to the bottom of the container, you drink what is left over.”

After the coffee is brewed and separated into cups, Hines continued with the second step by wafting the aroma of the coffee toward his nose. Step three includes the actual taste test of the coffee by slowly slurping the drink in order to spray it across your tongue.

“Your taste buds are able to separate the flavors of the coffee onto different areas of your tongue.” Hines said.

Finally, the fourth step of the official Starbucks coffee taste test is simply enjoying the coffee.

Starbucks also works closely with farmers in the United States by exchanging left over coffee grounds to use as compost for things such as herbs and eggs.

“Starbucks recently invested money into a farmer’s coffee farm so that he could send both of his sons to college,” Hines said. “We really do a lot of stuff that people don’t know about.”

Starbucks also runs a program called Starbucks Shared Planet, which is engaged in decreasing the corporation’s natural impact or footprint.

Competing with the Bowling Green Starbucks is Grounds For Thought, locally owned by Kelly and Laura Wicks located downtown on Main Street.

“We get between six and 800 customers a day. It just depends on the day,” Kelly Wicks said.

Grounds For Thought offers 60 blends of coffee by the bean in their café and a nearly unlimited variety of coffee at their store at 133 Wooster St., Wicks said. Grounds For Thought uses about 300 pounds of coffee daily, half used for regular coffee and the other half for specialty drinks like lattes and mochas.

“We are more of an old-school coffee shop,” Wicks said. “We sell about 50-50 coffee and coffee drinks.”

Wicks drinks multiple cups of different coffee each day, including his current favorite coffee that is imported from a farm in El Salvador. Grounds For Thought is in it’s 21st year of operation and also offers its customers entertainment through a used bookstore adjoining the coffee shop.

University students typically buy coffee from the Union Starbucks and Outtakes, located in the University food courts.

“I drink coffee 10 to 15 times a day,” said sophomore and Starbucks frequenter Jeff Williams. “I enjoy mochas because they give me the boost I need to accomplish tasks.”

National Coffee Association Statistics

29 percent of people ages 18 to 24 drink an average of 2.9 cups of coffee daily (high point was 37 percent in 2007).44 percent of people ages 25 to 39 drink coffee.54 percent of the overall adult population drinks coffee beverages.83 percent of people make coffee at home.10 percent of coffee drinkers consume coffee during their morning commute.5 percent of coffee drinkers consume coffee in restaurants18 percent of coffee drinkers consume coffee at work.127.4 million bags of coffee were produced in 2009/2010The U.S. imported 6.524 million bags of coffee in 2009.Average price for a pound of coffee: $3.91