This is probably going to shock you. And please don’t think less of me because of what I’m about to tell you: Up until Tuesday, I’d never had even a sip of coffee in my lifetime.
Not a cup of Colombian, a mug of Maxwell House or any type of cappuccino, latte, espresso or macchiato with or without an extra shot or extra soy.
Nothing! Never! I wasn’t at all a part of the coffee craze that’s been going on in this country and worldwide for decades.
I do have a Mr. Coffee machine in my home for when company comes — but I don’t know how to work it. If my guests don’t make their own coffee, they don’t get any.
And I’ll also admit this. I have felt as though there’s a club that everyone else belonged to that I chose not to join for reasons that I can’t fully explain. I couldn’t say I disliked coffee; I’d never tasted it.
I’m a tea guy.
My mother was a black-coffee drinker but she always worked (Hi, Mom!), so I was watched during the school day by my Aunt Flo, who was Irish-British and always gave me tea at lunchtime. That started when I was younger than 10, so I became a tea drinker.
Before my confessions go further, here are some hard facts. An estimated 148 million 60-kilogram bags of coffee were produced worldwide in what is called the 2015/16 “coffee year.” And global coffee consumption outpaced production at 151.3 million bags.
Sixty-four percent of adults say they drink at least one cup of coffee a day. The typical US consumer drinks 2.7 cups a day. And that’s with me bringing down the average.
At a retail level, the US coffee market is estimated to be $48 billion a year.
Starbucks are almost as prevalent in Manhattan as fire hydrants. And I’ll bet you can’t find a spot in the city that is more than a five-minute walk from a store-bought cup of coffee.
And while most of the retail industry is collapsing, the coffee business is, well, percolating — the one coffee-related word I know, despite that it’s outdated in…