Why Are We So Obsessed With Coffee? And is It Really Worth It?

Leslie Baker ‘24 and Anna Hvidsten ‘23 sit in Starbucks with their coffee.

Rosie Reale '24

Leslie Baker ‘24 and Anna Hvidsten ‘23 sit in Starbucks with their coffee.

Why are we so obsessed with coffee? Walk into Montrose at 8 AM, and you’ll see more coffee cups than you can count. It makes sense, given that the gallons of Dunkin’ and Starbucks accompany yawns and yearnings for the coveted eight hours of sleep. But along with the girls who down Dunkin’ like it’s the only thing keeping them going are those who spend all morning trying to finish a single cup. 

Clutching their cups, they complain: “I’m so tired. I need this coffee.” But when they take a sip, they scrunch their noses and swallow hard. “I need my caffeine, but this is so bitter! I wish I liked the taste of coffee.” There are other ways to get caffeine. Why do we insist on drinking coffee?

For some, it may be the group aspect. Every morning, you can see clusters of girls running off to grab coffees before school. There’s just something comforting about going with friends to grab something to help you get through a long day. And if everyone else is getting a coffee, it might feel weird to buy a tea. As kids, coffee seemed like the ultimate “adult” drink. Your parents made coffee in the mornings, and adults on TV always had a cup or two before work. Maybe drinking coffee makes you feel more mature. 

Or maybe it’s the aesthetic. Influencers on Instagram never pass up the chance to post a photo of their breakfasts, and they’re never without a giant cup of Starbucks, the fancy kind that costs seven dollars. Everyone has seen those influencers who wake up at 5 AM to work out and study, and they always have coffee. And so many of those “productive music” Youtube videos feature images of cafes and mugs of steaming-hot brew. After seeing all that, it makes you wonder — can you even be productive if you don’t drink coffee?

Apparently, you can. I have a friend who religiously orders an iced green tea every morning before school. I’ve never seen her drink coffee, and she is still very much alive and well. Better yet, she actually enjoys her tea. I’ve never seen her struggle to gulp it down, and she never gets caffeine jitters — you know, the ones where your leg bounces uncontrollably during Mass. So I know it’s possible to survive without coffee. The question is: once you get past the productive, “mature” coffee aesthetic, is drinking coffee really worth it?

If drinking bitter coffee is really a struggle for you, I would say no. Despite the almost-mystical appeal of a mug of coffee, if you don’t like the taste, there’s no reason to drink it. There are so many flavors of tea out there, and you might end up actually enjoying your daily dose of caffeine. So, next time you’re in line at Starbucks, don’t feel pressured to buy into the coffee aesthetic if you don’t truly love the taste. 


by Hana Shinzawa ’24 Opinions Editor