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The World’s Most Popular Intoxicant?




All around the world millions of people enjoy waking up to the smell and taste of a fresh cup or jug of coffee. And it can benefit everyone, from students cramming their studies in, to workers wanting that little pick-me-up before heading out, to athletes preparing for their upcoming event. They’re all after that morning fix. So it’s not surprising that coffee (or rather, the caffeine contained within) is the world’s most popular psychoactive drug.

With its ability to maintain alertness and promote brain activity in the day (it’s even said to have been a major influence during the Renaissance) coffee and carbonated drinks are forever in high demand as a proven warrior in the battle against drowsiness. It’s not at all surprising then that, according to a study, around 90% of people in America consume caffeine daily.

In fact, in 2008 another study set out to show which countries consumed the most coffee by the kg. The results found that Finland thrashed the rest of the world with an average of 12 kg of coffee being imbibed per person. For reference: the UK came 44th with an average of 2.8 kg.

But you don’t need to know all the scientific details behind how caffeine affects the body. If you live in the Western hemisphere you can see just how popular it is by the sheer array of kitchen appliances available in high street stores and online. The sight of an espresso machine, or a latte maker, or even a coffee bean grinder gives an indication of just how much people crave (if not flat-out need) caffeine in their lives.

The Home Brew Lifestyle

Grinding your own coffee beans or making espressos from home is becoming more common each year. It’s not out of the question to even assume that making coffee is a more popular activity than brewing your own beer. It’s so actively embedded in our culture (and in other cultures as well) that we probably don’t even realize just how much of an industry surrounds us.

If you don’t have a coffee making machine at home but you still fancy a cup or two (or twelve) then you’ll barely have to walk a few minutes from your own place to be greeted by cafés and specialist coffee bars. Bookshops have even managed to blend coffee perfectly with their business acumen. And who can blame them for doing so? There is nothing more relaxing than a hot Americano whilst browsing through your favorite literature.

So if you’re a big fan of coffee, tea, fizzy pop, energy drinks, or any other consumable liquid that contains caffeine lets all pause for a brief moment and reflect on where we would be today without it.