In just a month [the Coffee Party’s] Facebook page has acquired more than 50,000 fans, and supporters of this left-of-centre alternative were logging their interest at a rate of a thousand an hour today.
On the face of it, the rivals share features beyond their beverage titles: offspring of social networking websites; self-consciously harnessing energy unleashed by populist frustrations with the political establishment; and strong views on the nature and role of government.
There the similarity ends. The Coffee Party crowd believes government is not an enemy of the people but the voice of the people.
Annabel Park, a documentary filmmaker who started up the Facebook page from Silver Spring, Maryland, said: "We want to see people representing us moving towards solutions to problems rather than strategically obstructing any form of progress."
In a video on www.coffeepartyusa.org (motto: wake up and stand up) she says she decided to act after "listening to news coverage that made it seem the Tea Party was representative of America.”