By Jeff Lund
One of the most under-appreciated groups of coffee consumer is the outdoor adventurer. Who among us who loves the freshness of nature is not caffeinated? That’s what I thought.
But most of the time we group coffee drinkers by profession. As an English teacher I am aware of the well-deserved stereotype of teachers and coffee. It’s true, but I doubt that teachers drink any more coffee than a professional who needs frequent boosts of caffeine. I bet people on Wall Street drink tons of coffee, but that’s certainly not the stereotype. See any movie about investment broking and you’ll get what I mean.
Anyway, Nationalcoffee.blog reports that the profession with the heaviest coffee drinkers is a scientist or a lab technician, and Finland is the country that drinks the most coffee per year. In fact, Nordic countries lead the way, which makes sense, but there’s a difference between drinking coffee as a means of getting through the day, and as part of your recreational routine.
We all know coffee makes a great pre-workout for gym-goers, but I can’t think of a population to which coffee is spliced into the experience more than the person who rolls out of a hammock, unzips a tent, opens the yurt or walks out of the cabin to stand and greet the day with a hot cup of instant or French press coffee. Purists will rebuild or stoke a mostly dead campfire and put on the old percolator, but products at places like REI make that notion seem like something from the dark ages. Why carry around the heavy percolator that requires actual fire, when you can fire up the JetBoil and press your morning coffee of the month?
I’ve taken PR Blend to forest service cabins, the top of mountains, beaches, everywhere. The only thing that has changed has been what I use to brew it. I’ve used a French press, but an Aeropress is lighter and is made of plastic so you don’t have to worry about breaking it if you’re backpacking.
Still, I am one of those guys who has the trusty old blue percolator, stained by smoke and flame, that always finds a way to get grounds in my cup which is not a big deal. If grounds in your coffee can ruin a morning camping on a beach, lake or mountain, then you’ve got bigger problems.
Anyway, there really is no point in arguing over which sub group of people drinks the most, because the better the places we drink it, the better off we’ll be. That’s what really matters.
Jeff Lund is an English teacher and freelance writer in Ketchikan, Alaska. His podcast The Mediocre Alaskan can be found on iTunes.