Jim Cramer has a bold idea on how to measure the pulse of the American consumer: through their coffee orders.
"I have to tell you, I think perhaps the most important quarter of this period is going to be Starbucks," Cramer said Thursday on "Squawk on the Street." "Right now, we've all written the consumer off."
Starbucks reports fourth-quarter earnings after the bell Thursday. Cramer went further to explain why it was such a crucial earnings report. It all comes down to whether U.S. consumers splurge on Starbucks' signature lattes and Frappuccinos, he said.
(Read more: Earnings this week could make for cautious trading)