January 19, 1996 at 05:00 AM EST

WANT TO KNOW why everyone on your favorite sitcom is so darn perky? The answer is coffee, and lots of it. Java is the drink of choice on television these days, from Friends’ Central Perk to Frasier’s Cafe Nervosa — but not all the sipping is taking place on camera. It turns out that enough coffee is being consumed on these sets to keep Juan Valdez in donkeys for a very long time. Now EW offers a bean count on four of TV’s most caffeine-friendly shows.

— Kristen Baldwin


The coffee: Foodcraft’s Finest Kona Island Blend in espresso, decaf, regular, and vanilla-macadamia nut.

The machine: Foodcraft drip coffeemaker.

Amount per week: The cast and crew go through about 20 pounds of Kona, five pounds of decaf, two to three pounds of vanilla-macadamia nut, and one pound of espresso.

Cast preferences: Ellen DeGeneres drinks regular Kona Island Blend straight; David Anthony Higgins takes vanilla-macadamia nut straight; Joely Fisher prefers her vanilla-macadamia nut with a little milk and sugar; and Jeremy Piven ”doesn’t seem to drink much coffee, if any,” says a show spokesman.

Inside buzz: The crew keeps eight pots going at once to make sure everyone can get his or her fix at any time. The brew also serves as prop coffee for the show.


The coffee: For the principals, it’s Starbucks’ Espresso Roast; for extras and the crew, it’s The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in mocha java, vanilla nut, French mocha, Viennese, or Colombian.

The machine: Pasquini coffee-and-espresso maker.

Amount per week: Between eight and 14 pounds of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf coffee and about one to one and a half pounds of Starbucks’ Espresso Roast.

Cast preferences: ”We just make cappuccinos for everybody except Kelsey Grammer. He always drinks lattes,” says a production assistant. ”Everyone drinks them straight.” Frasier guest director James Burrows likes caterers to bring walnut-flavored coffee.

Inside buzz: Continuing a tradition that began on the set of Cheers, Grammer and the cast drink espressos to gear up on the night of a taping.


The coffee: Premium Yuban or MJB Hawaiian Blend.

The machine: Bunn drip coffeemaker.

Amount per week: About 25 pounds per week; on the day of taping 20 gallons of coffee are brewed for the cast and crew and five gallons are made for all of the scenes in Central Perk.

Cast preferences: Matthew Perry takes his with cream and two packets of Equal; Matt LeBlanc prefers nonfat milk and Equal; Jennifer Aniston likes just nonfat milk; David Schwimmer takes some milk and sugar with his; Lisa Kudrow takes decaf, as does Courteney Cox, who usually steers clear of coffee but will take cream and Equal in hers if pushed.

Inside buzz: ”On camera, they serve the coffee black, but for a tight shot they whip some milk in a blender and pour it in to make it look like cappuccino,” says a show spokesman.

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