“The Coffee Addiction” Presented by CNBC for National Coffee Day

Did you know that today, September 29, is NATIONAL COFFEE DAY?  Don’t worry, I didn’t either, despite my severe addiction to this glorious brown liquid.  Whether it is the caffeine I can’t do without or the fantastic taste of a dark-brewed blend containing outrageous amounts of sugar and milk, the truth is this brown liquid keeps me company every morning.  Now, I do not usually take time to discuss documentaries when we have a bright, new TV season to play with, but when I saw that CNBC will be providing an inside look to my greatest addiction, I had to take a look.

Coffee has been called The Social Drink and it is the jolt that gets us through the day, and the one we can’t seem to live without. Once just our morning fix, it has become an American cultural obsession in a nation that consumes 400 million cups of it—every day!  It is also an $70 Billion global market.  On National Coffee Day, CNBC presents a special one-hour documentary titled “The Coffee Addiction,” on Thursday, September 29th at 9PM ET/PT.  This report allows us to see the journey of the coffee bean from the jungles of Peru as it makes its journey to ultimately end in our cup.  We will get an interesting look at the major players (like Starbucks), the way this commodity is traded, and even peek into the health effects. It will be hard to look at my morning coffee in quite the same after this. And don’t worry about that 9pm time interfering with your other programs; if you check the listings, you will see multiple airings of this program.  Details on it follow.

The documentary captures the extraordinary journey from coffee bean to coffee cup as Correspondent Scott Wapner takes viewers from the jungles of Peru to the frenzied commodity trading pit of lower Manhattan, to the Seattle headquarters of Starbucks, and finally, to the local coffeehouses across the country where a new breed of baristas fuels a national passion.

Most coffee lovers do not give much thought to where their coffee comes from or how it is grown. CNBC goes back to the beginning of the global supply chain to find out. Wapner profiles a buyer for a coffee company based outside Seattle and accompanies him on a trip to the remote reaches of Peru, crossing a tributary of the Amazon and hiking through the dense jungle to reach the farm of a local coffee grower. There, high-quality Arabica coffee beans, found inside cherries that grow on trees, are painstakingly picked by hand, sorted, cleaned, and sold for $2.70 a pound, which is a fraction of the $14.70 they will fetch after they make their way to a retail shelf in the U.S.

CNBC’s “The Coffee Addiction,” delves into the science behind caffeine’s effect on the body and speaks with Dr. Peter Martin, a professor at Vanderbilt University’s School of Medicine. His findings and others, including a 2004 Harvard study that found long-term moderate coffee consumption could help prevent the onset of Type II diabetes and Parkinson’s disease, suggest that caffeine can actually be beneficial to your health.

CNBC profiles two companies at the heart of America’s coffee culture. Wapner goes behind the scenes at Starbucks to meet their taster-in-chief, Dub Hay. As Starbucks Director of Coffee, Hay slurps, smells, and sloshes his way through hundreds of coffee blends and flavors to decide what their millions of customers will drink. Wapner also sits down with Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz to discuss his role in the rise, fall and rise again of this corporate coffee giant. Schultz concedes that his company became “a poster child for excess” by building too many stores, hundreds of which were later shuttered as thousands of employees were laid off. Schultz has righted the ship, redesigned many of his stores and expanded aggressively overseas, bringing Starbucks record profits.

CNBC also tells the success story of Vermont’s Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, a company once so close to collapse that then-CEO Robert Stiller paid salaries on his credit card. Stiller bought a single Green Mountain coffee store in 1981. Thirty years later, his company is now the dominant player in the single serve game by joining forces with the Keurig brewing system. With their coffee pods or “K-Cups,” Green Mountain now has an 80% share of the single-serve market, and recently struck deals to offer Starbucks and Dunkin’
Donuts coffee in their system.

For more information including slideshows and web extras, log onto: coffeeaddiction.cnbc.com.