Society’s Favourite Stimulant: Coffee

Towering tales of coffee: Webcams, revolutions & a little neurology
Posted on June 8th 2016 by Maddie

Can you imagine a life without coffee? It’s unfathomable. Our days are transformed with every intoxicating sip. For most of us, enjoying a cup of coffee is purely a necessary morning ritual, so engrained in our daily routines; we may not acknowledge how coffee has impacted the world. 

Coffee provides a livelihood for over 125 million people. It has altered the course of history and greatly influenced society. Our favourite beverage is responsible for encouraging dialogue and for inspiring innovations. You may simply see it as a daily fix, but do not be fooled, coffee is much more than that. 

From many hands to yours

There is an extensive amount of labour required in the production of coffee. Many, many lives are touched during coffee’s journey from bean to cup. It’s an estimated thirty hands that have contributed to your cup of Kick Ass®: that's thirty sets of hands from picking the coffee cherry, sorting, processing, transporting to our homebase in Invermere, BC, where we roast and pack. A helluva journey! 

With so many people worldwide dependent on coffee for their livelihoods, its impact is exponential. This is largely why the Specialty Coffee industry and Kicking Horse® Coffee itself have always been in an instigator in pushing social equality. We call out to socially conscious consumers, who want to bridge the gap in the supply chain and make sustainable choices. 

Inspired revolutions 

Coffee not only gets us up and moving, it gets us thinking: coffee has a powerful social function. Cafes, which morphed from the English Coffeehouse, have always been hubs of communication. They provide opportunities for collaborate thinking. In Mark Pendergrast’s history Uncommon Ground, he explains how throughout the ages, coffeehouses have brought people together. Both the French and American revolutions were planned in coffeehouses. 

There is something about gathering around a cup of coffee. Coffee makes you think. And it actually makes you think! Coffee is a stimulant that distributes the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine. This can lead to improving your mood, reaction time, memory, and general cognitive function. 

A watched pot hatched the first webcam

Did you know that the first webcam was created for the sole purpose of monitoring a pot of coffee? It actually predates the World Wide Web. In 1991, computer scientists at Cambridge University rigged up a camera, which then provided a grayscale image of the coffee pot. 

The researchers had their coffee pot located outside their Computer Lab (aka the Trojan room!) But not all the researchers were based in the Trojan Room -  some were located two or three floors away - a long haul for a cup of coffee.

The webcam was invented to solve the problem of wasted trips to an empty coffee pot. Everybody was able to pull up the video and watch the pot on their desktop. How dialed in were these folks? The image would update three times a minute.

If that’s not literally fuelling innovations, then I’m not sure what else is! 

A fluid connector

The world is a better place because of coffee: It connects us all; from the producers at source to the friends we meet at cafes. Coffee is constantly inspiring change. So, what’s next? How will your cup of Kicking Horse® Coffee change your day? Drop us a line and let us know what great idea your Kick Ass® java kick-started.