I’ve always been serious about my coffee drinks and I know I’m not alone in my feelings about them. I know coffee, any kind of coffee, is serious business in the United States but I never dreamed it would get as serious as it is in the Philippines today. If I watch any of the local television stations, I’ll see a commercial advertisement for one of any number of coffee drinks at least once an hour. That’s way more often than I ever saw them in the United States.
I look at the top charts at Google Trends every couple of months to see what people are searching for, mainly in the United States. For the year of 2015, under the drinks category, coffee is number one. It’s odd that “water” is listed as number one under the “foods” category. I wonder, between coffee and water, if coffee would still be number one for 2015.
So far (Jan-Apr, 2016), coffee drinks are competing with beer and lemonade for the number one spot. In the foods category, pizza is competing with chicken. Pizza was number one for 2015.
I haven’t done enough research to see what types of coffee drinks are searched for the most. I don’t want to invest that kind of time in it. Usually, the search patterns tend to follow what’s being advertised the most.
High on the list are things like mocha, espresso and Starbucks if you’re looking at American web searches. In the Philippines, the searches tend to follow Kopiko Brown and various other instant coffee sachets. I don’t memorize names but it seems every major company is getting into the act in the Philippines, including the San Miguel corporation.
In the Philippines, coffee is sold in sizes that even the poorest people can afford, mostly one-cup sachets. I’ve seen packets with 2in1 (coffee plus sugar) and 3in1 (coffee plus sugar and non-dairy creamer) on more brands than I care to remember. That’s along with plain coffee sachets from well-known coffee brands.
Years ago, I preferred coffee with sugar and cream – I never liked non-dairy creamers, which aren’t good for me anyway. Nowadays, I prefer it with only sugar. I used to like it with more sugar than I do now. I don’t know if age has anything to do with it, but I like the taste of the coffee itself if it isn’t bitter.
Okay, so I only mentioned two countries, the countries I’ve lived in. I’ve been to a lot more countries than I care to remember, including Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan. The Japanese seem to prefer cold or iced coffee more than hot coffee, or they did back in the 80s. I can’t assume too much – I only spent a year there.
When I’m at home, I prefer hot coffee. When I’m on the road, I prefer cold coffee because it’s easier to handle (and easier to drink when the heat index is high). Sometimes I have to take whatever coffee drinks I can get because it isn’t available on every corner like it seems to be in the United States (especially where I lived in Phoenix, with all the convenience store gas stations).
By: RT Cunningham
May 6, 2016
Food and Drink
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