By Rebecca Hertz
Killeen Daily Herald
Some like it hot. Some like it cold. Some like it light and sweet, and some like it dark and bold.
There is no question that Americans like their coffee and millions reach for that morning boost of caffeine at their local coffee shop or convenience store.
But if you think it is just for the morning, check out the drive through at your local coffee hut anytime during the day and into the evening.
Americans consume 400 million cups per day. Fifty four percent of the overall population drinks coffee, and the average is 2.9 cups per day for consumers age 18-24, according to the National Coffee Association.
If we didn't need a good reason to gulp down our morning java, Tuesday was National Coffee Day, as local retailers offered even more incentive for coffee lovers to partake of the muddy nectar.
"The caffeine makes you stay awake and it tastes really good," Gerardo Gomez of Bean Tree Espresso in Copperas Cove said.
Java Café at Fort Hood offered half-price drinks and a chance to win a Pioneer Blu-ray disk player with purchase. Kelsey West public relations coordinator with Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation said the promotion was expected to attract more than 1,000 customers with the opportunity to save on the cost of their daily brew. Java Café is a FMWR facility that partners with Starbucks to serve the brand, West said.
The tiny kiosk overflowed with customers. Dozens of cars lined up for the drive-through as FMWR staff members greeted each driver with a smile to hand out registration forms for the drawing. More than 20 thirsty soldiers waited at the walk-up window to place their orders. Three employees inside the kiosk scrambled to keep up with demand.
Spc. Vivek Vasani said he is a regular customer at the café when he manages to get up on time. Tuesday morning he had a little extra time to drop in and take advantage of the special discount.
According the Heritage Coffee Company Web site, referring to coffee as "a cup of Joe" started during World War II because of the coffee drinking habits of American soldiers (G. I. Joe).
Starbucks used National Coffee Day as a platform to launch its new VIA Ready Brew line of instant coffee products with free samples.
Dick Donovan of Killeen frequents the store on Trimmier about four nights each week. He is retired from the military and said in addition to coffee, he enjoys spending time with the soldiers who hang out there, especially those who are alone and want someone to talk to.
"I enjoy the taste (of coffee). I used to be a heavy soda drinker but coffee is better," Donovan said. "There is a big difference in quality coffee - paying a little more is worth it for that consistency and flavor."
If you missed the coffee festivities on Tuesday, don't fret. Coffee lovers around the country celebrate every morning when they wake up to the aroma of the fresh brew and reach for that first eye-opening, steaming cup of the day.
Contact Rebecca Hertz at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7469.