A study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found that caffeine consumption makes you more active in a group and accelerates your performance. In fact, caffeine even dims the sensation of tiredness. Keeping the nutritional value aside, what is it that makes coffee a social drink? “Let’s talk over a cup of coffee.” sounds anything but out of the ordinary. The normality of this single sentence is proof enough of how all of us have imbibed this coffee culture.
The first coffee houses of the world were initiated in the Middle East, where people could listen to music while watching performers play chess and discuss affairs of the nation. It was indeed the center of idea exchange as political movements were addressed over a hot brew. Coffee houses were sometimes even called ‘Schools of the Wise’. Cultural and political transformations in Europe nurtured public opinions and the mug of coffee stood witness to the creation of Nation States.
Coffee may not have originated in India, but the blistering aroma of the South Indian filter coffee can bring groups of people following their olfactory senses in a congregation to have conversations on just about anything under the sun. When you picture a typical unit of people in any of the Dravidian regions, it is coffee that occupies a strategic part of that poster in mind adorning itself in a steel tumbler fitted to a bowl.
Adda in Bengali is a social gathering and needs no occasion. An adda can be a casual discussion on how football runs in the blood of every Bangali, but can also take the shape of serious political agenda or even the nomenclature of a Tollywood cinema! But the common ingredient of all these discussions is definitely coffee, this time in a porcelain cup in its own porcelain dish.
Although the bliss of a cup of coffee enjoyed in solitude is unparalleled, it is most definitely a beverage that is better enjoyed in a group. It has been suggested that offering coffee in the lounge areas of nursing homes encourages and increases social interactions among senior citizens since this allows many of them to come out of their cocoons of isolation.
The very conception of coffee houses was to entice people to relax over a cup of their favorite flavored coffee. This also means that coffee shop stories are limitless and ever-evolving. Coffee breaks in workplaces are most-awaited and even those who are not in the habit of drinking coffee within the four walls of their houses, do not hesitate to join the groups of coffee enthusiasts to gossip over a cup, sometimes, multiple cups!
Group boosts and going high on coffee are new terms introduced into the coffee lovers’ dictionary since the beverage is a social lubricant and occupies center stage in all events, be it home functions, casual gatherings, office parties, first dates, and now with the new normal, virtual meetings where decisions are made over a mug of your favourite variant of coffee, be it Latte, Robusta, Arabica or the all-time favourite, Cappuccino.