How Coffee Impacts Culture in the USA

August 24, 2023 Abby Phillips

How Coffee Impacts Culture in the USA

In our recent blog series, we have explored how coffee impacts culture, and culture impacts coffee in many different civilizations. But there is one culture we have yet to really explore: American coffee culture! Many Americans are fueled by coffee every single day. Besides water, coffee is the most consumed beverage in the United States; and we’re happy Baba Java is a part of that statistic! 

The coffee scene in America has been wildly popular since the early 1900s, during a time known as First Wave coffee. After the Second Wave, commodity coffee and coffee shop culture formed, and the Third Wave of coffee emerged by the year 2000. Third Wave coffee marks the point in time when specialty coffee became a prominent household name. Quality and traceability define Third Wave coffee. This became a worldwide wave. 

So, how does coffee impact American culture? American culture is a fast-paced, high-octane, coffee-drinking culture. Especially in urban areas, American coffee culture is all about wasting no time and oftentimes is more focused on sweetened drinks as opposed to plain black coffee. Fast, fast, fast. However, in recent years, there has been a resurgence in the quality-over-quantity approach to drinking coffee. Coffee shops aren’t just focused on to-go orders and getting through tickets as fast as possible. It’s about the intentionality of the baristas and the quality of the product. 

Want to learn how coffee impacts other cultures? See how coffee affects China, Guatemala, and Yemen


As previously mentioned, intentionality from the baristas is largely becoming part of the experience customers search for when they go to a coffee shop. They’re eager to learn about the coffees, how they’re brewed, and even how they can brew them at home. The quality of coffee is the driving force behind this resurgence. Coffee is impacting the fast-paced culture by slowing it down. In turn, the baristas are becoming more intentional with the patrons that come through their cafes. 

Here at Baba Java—that’s part of our mission! We not only recognize the shift in American coffee culture, leaning more toward intentionality on both sides of the counter, but we also pursue the service of our community. This is so important and should be a staple in the American coffee shop culture! 

Daily Ritual 

There’s just something about that cup of coffee in the morning… It hits differently, and it is so vital! Cultures are made up of a myriad of rituals and customs, and in our culture—coffee is an indefinite daily ritual for the majority of Americans, especially in the mornings. 

American culture, as already mentioned, is more fast-paced and individualistic compared to other cultures. Most American households have a coffee brewer of some kind, from pour-over setups to Moka Pots to automatic makers. People have to have their cup of coffee first thing in the morning to get going and begin their day. Mondays are especially for that morning cup of coffee, are we right? In many ways, that morning cup is self-care; or it’s that necessary caffeine fix. For others, the ritual of just making that cup of coffee—hearing it brew, smelling its aroma, taking that first step—is everything. 

Whether it be a fixture in your routine for caffeine, taking care of yourself, or getting that kickstart to your day—coffee is, for certain, a daily ritual in American culture. 


Coffee is undeniably relational. However, individuality has always been a part of the cultural makeup of the U.S. “I need a cup of coffee” is a common statement. In other cultures, that individuality would be out of place—bizarre even. 

Coffee is best enjoyed in the company of others. It’s an act of hospitality, a way to share stories and have heart-to-heart. Some of the best conversations are had while drinking coffee. First dates and 500th dates are enjoyed over coffee! People welcome friends and family into their homes, and they share cups of coffee together. While this sounds romantic and all, it couldn’t be more accurate. Culturally, this is beautifully relational. 

America is a melting pot country, and people from all around the world convene in coffee shops every single day. Baristas welcome their guests, and guests interact with the baristas.  

Coffee is inherently relational, and we’re thankful that American coffee culture is embracing these aspects more and more each day. After all, coffee impacts culture, and culture impacts coffee. 

Interested in tasting new origins of coffee? Try one of our Variety Boxes today!