BY: NICOLE GALLUCCI
Over the years, coffee consumption has become a crucial part of the millennial identity. Whether it's used to fuel an early morning wake-up, a late night of working or simply to inspire some extra likes on their Instagram accounts, there's no denying that today's young adults are seriously immersed in the coffee craze.
In fact, a new report from Bloomberg shows that millennials have grown so accustomed to their daily caffeine kick that their massive consumption of coffee has pushed global demand to a record high.
Joe DeRupo, Director of External Relations & Communications at the National Coffee Association U.S.A. (NCA) told Mashable that their annual market research confirms "coffee consumption among millennials is growing faster than any other segment."
Since Gilmore Girls hit Netflix and the Pumpkin Spice Latte took over Fall, caffeine has made its way into the hearts of America's youth - and the habit seems to be starting at a younger age than ever before.
Datassential's research showed that younger millennials born after 1995 began guzzling coffee at just 14.7 years old, whereas older millennials, born around 1982, began caffeinating at 17.1 years. In some extreme cases, it was even discovered that caffeine consumption started under the age of ten.
"In school, drinking coffee is also like a fashion symbol and an opportunity to socialize.”
William Tuesca, a 21-year-old junior at Parsons School of Design in New York told Bloomberg that he first started drinking coffee when he was ... drumroll, please ... five years old. Five years old. Some five-year-olds aren't even allowed to indulge in carbonated beverages, let alone caffeine.
Tuesca explained that his early exposure to the dark stimulant resulted in him now drinking an average of two to three cups a day. "In school, drinking coffee is also like a fashion symbol and an opportunity to socialize,” he said.
The NCA's 2016 report provided to Mashable found that some of the top reasons 2016 consumers drink coffee are: to wake up, warm up, get a quick energy boost or just plain treat themselves.
Coffee supplies around the world meanwhile are tightening. Bloomberg reported that as consumption continues to increase, production from places like Brazil, the world’s biggest coffee producer and exporter, is dwindling as a result of drought.
The robusta coffee crop has been affected, pushing roasters towards arabica beans instead. Stockpiles have also fallen since July while demand is showing no signs of slowing.
All this poses the question: how would millennials survive without coffee?
Well Tuesca apparently wouldn't. He told Bloomberg he would rather give up chocolate than go without his beloved beverage. "Chocolate is like a paramour with whom you have good moments," he said. "But coffee is like the spouse or girlfriend that you want with you every day."
To millennials, it seems, coffee is synonymous with love.