Coffee brings out a sense of community

While college brings new opportunities, friends and independence, it also brings sleep deprivation. And while most of us cannot seem to schedule in sleep, we often turn to caffeine. As a die hard Starbucks addict, I am ashamed to admit that I will travel through rain, sleet, snow, even Hur- ricane Irene, to get my morning fix.

I am currently a regular at five different Starbucks locations at which the major- ity of the baristas knows me by name and order.

Similarly, many people share the same dependence on other “brand name” coffee companies including Caribou Coffee, Big- gby and Dunkin Donuts. Their devotion to their coffee cannot be shifted by taste, atmosphere, or even price. Their coffee companies win their hearts as the most

delectable every time. But, when did this coffee craze begin?

What made my Starbucks coffee so special to me that I wouldn’t dare cheat with another brew?

No longer can independent cafes stand a chance in succeeding with corporate companies at their necks. Coffee compa- nies have designed their stores to give that same independent, café feel, while pleasing executives with huge corporate profits.

I have concluded that this trend of brand name coffee has been designed to make people feel as if they belong to something. That is what everyone searches for in the long run, is it not? People crave to feel as if they belong to a community, and while I do not know the names of most of my neigh- bors whom I’ve been living near for most of

my life, I do know the names of the people who serve my coffee, the man who sits in the same corner each day reading his paper, and the working mother who drags in her son each morning purchasing a caramel latte and a chocolate milk.

Business people, students, parents, people from different cultures and creeds all drink coffee. It’s sort of a common religion that

bonds America together. Visiting the same café each day reminds me that in this fast paced world there is such a thing as com- munity. Each time I see someone carrying a cup with the Starbucks logo, I know

that he or she too shares in my addiction. Whenever the barista leaves me a message on my cup, it reminds me that I am apart of something.

Truly, the brand name coffee craze has become a tad bit absurd, and I do not take pride in being one who has fallen victim to their tactics. However, for those of you who have no clue what I’m talking about, visit a Starbucks — yes I’m playing favor- ites. You will soon realize your addiction developing, not to the coffee, but to the friendly environment and the homey feel. Corporate America, you got us again.