International Coffee Day
Whether you like a cappuccino, latte, mocha or just black, here in the UK, coffee is less a drink but more an obsession - with a whopping 95 million cups being drunk every day - you could call it the fuel of industry. With the average person drinking 2 cups daily in the UK, it is the comfort many of us reach for each morning to get our days on the right track.
How does Coffee Work?
Coffee naturally contains the chemical stimulant caffeine. Caffeine affects the central nervous system by blocking adenosine, a naturally occurring chemical that increases the need for sleep. It attaches itself to the receptor and blocks the natural build-up of adenosine in the body and reduces the effects of drowsiness, allowing us to boost our reactions for longer. Caffeine has a half-life of between 4-6 hours, so we all likely have a bit of caffeine in our systems 24/7.
How long have we been drinking coffee?
Coffee was most likely first drank in the 15th century in Ethiopia and the Middle East. It wasn't until the next century for coffee to find its way to Europe with Turkish soldiers drinking it during invasions of Hungary and Austria. The first coffee house opened in Vienna in 1683. The popularity of coffee soured across Europe and made its way to the UK in the 17th century. By 1675, there were more than 3,000 coffee houses across England alone. Around this time, beer was the most consumed drink by working adults, so the rise of coffee likely played a part in the boom of industry and enlightenment. Possibly being no longer sustained solely by beer, workers were suddenly more alert and energised and the introduction of the coffee house created a fertile ground for the meeting of minds. This likely contributed to the fertile conditions leading to the age of enlightenment across Europe.
Our choice has also exploded in recent years allowing us to explore combinations that we couldn’t have fathomed just a decade ago, allowing our personality to shine through in our coffee choice, from the traditional Espresso to the surreal Beetroot Latte, we can indulge our passion in a style that reflects our own.
Coffee shops are still a huge part of our culture today. However, the rise of convenience has a not-so-hidden cost of producing 2.5 billion cups in just the UK alone each year. Given an average weight of 18 grams, this is the equivalent of 45,000 tonnes or over 3,557 double-decker buses a year in weight sent to landfill or incineration.
G.F Smith developed Extract to help combat specifically this issue. Each sheet is expertly crafted using post-consumer cups, diverted from landfill, saving over 1.7 cups from landfill for every 130gsm sheet used and over 5 cups for every 380gsm sheet.
This means that a single coffee cup can make just over 8 Ring boxes, just over four 80x80mm Universal boxes or just over 2 necklace boxes. Allowing you to easily see just how many cups you are diverting from the landfill.
This revolutionary paper is made using a zero-waste process with 90% of the cup utilised in the production of Extract paper and the remaining 10% of plastic waste also recycled into something else entirely.
So, raise your cup and get creative by using Extract to create packaging as unique as your coffee.
Special thanks to Tea & Gang for supplying their amazing Neon Lattes for this shoot.