‘Tis the season to caffeinate

November 28, 2014

It almost seems like adding insult to injury.

The official start of winter is still more than three weeks away, but for many the true misery of the season began on Nov. 2, with the end of Daylight Savings Time. “Daylight Saving Time is the greatest continuing fraud ever perpetuated on American people,” the Atlantic announced in an article condemning the end of last year’s time change, and they aren’t alone in that sentiment: a Google search returns 298,000 results for “daylight savings scam.”

There is plenty of venom for Daylight Savings Time, but its end is particularly cruel, especially for sufferers of seasonal affective disorder. If frigid temperatures and lousy weather weren’t enough, the long, dark nights can be wholly dispiriting. But  cold gloomy winters are a fact of life in many parts of the world, and so it should come as no surprise that the countries with depressing geographical dispositions tend to be the biggest consumers of pep.

As This Reuters graphic shows, northern European countries take the top seven spots in the ranking of the world’s coffee consumers, with residents of the Netherlands drinking an astounding five cups of coffee per person per day. No wonder their coffee shops are so popular. Over 50 countries in temperate climates produce coffee, with Brazil producing the most—over 49 million 60-kg bags in 2013—but Brazil and Tunisia were the only warm climate nations that broke the top 10 in consumption, a dynamic that describes a nice little narrative about the global economy.

If hibernation were a human option, it would be interesting to see how many people opted for it. I’m pretty sure I would. But lacking that possibility, a cup (or five) of Joe remains one of the best ways to face the frigid day.

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