Article

Coffee as a Social Drug

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Abstract

Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages and most internationally traded commodities in the world in good part because caffeine is the world's most popular drug, a legal drug at that (Weinberg and Bealer 2001, 198; Courtwright 2001, 19). But that has not always been the case. Coffee has followed a circuitous path to legality and to popularity. Coffee's status has owed as much to its social role, viewed as both virtuous and pernicious, as to its pharmacological effects. The world coffee trade, an artifact of the earlier spice trade, inspired one of the first global markets.1 Since the late 1400s, cultivation spread out from Africa to Arabia, East Asia, Latin America, back to Africa and to East Asia. Today, it is grown on every continent except Antarctica.2 Consumption has also spread across the globe from Africa to the Middle East, Europe, North America, Latin America, and, since the middle of the twentieth century, increasingly to Asia, especially Japan, Korea, and the Philippines. However, this has not flattened the world. As a social drug, going global has caused coffee to take on different faces, playing strikingly different parts in heterogeneous social worlds, ethnic and religious identities, in symbolic rituals, in different food complexes and cuisines, and in diverse environmental niches.3 Coffee could be thought of as the great pretender because of its historical omnipresence. But it has been more than a historical Zelig or a Forrest Gump, the simple-minded protagonists of popular movies whose photos were spliced into the crucial events of their day for cacophonous, humorous effect. They were ridiculous, yes, but coffee was not. It was on the table, yes, but it did more than stand by mutely. It has been a historical actor, in the sense that it fits Michael Pollan's "plant's-eye view of the world." Coffee has used humans to transport itself across the world because of its beautiful flowers, the sweet taste of its cherries, and most importantly, because of its pharmacological effects (Pollan 2002, xviii).4 Although not a purely autonomous agent, coffee "beans" arose naturally unlike, say, corn, which Arturo Warman notes "was a human invention . . . nature could not propagate it without the participation of men" (Warman 2003, viii). Coffee appeared on its own with little assistance even from insects, since it is self-pollinating. It may well have required goats, however, to unlock the stimulant of the "beans" by chewing them, as Anthony Wild has suggested (2004, 29). Eventually, humans became intimately involved in Coffea arabica's life. Coffee cultivation, processing, intermediation, marketing, and consumption shaped, as well as reflected, the changes and diversity of the world over the last five centuries. Although a "commodity chain" approach is useful to understanding coffee's role in connecting growers and drinkers, "chain" is too rigid (Topik and Samper 2006). "Chain" smacks of "restraints" and "shackles" when the historical record was much more pliable and protean. Coffee's widespread success derives from its ability to adapt to many geographical, ecological, social settings, and disease regimes and its ability to evolve over time through natural mutations and human assistance. (Coffee gene splicing is only in its infancy.) It has been far more than merely another frivolous "dessert crop," as it is sometimes dismissed. It has helped transform the world economy and societies as it shifted from a rare "luxury and non-necessar[y]" (Landes 1980, 298) to what Brett Neilson and Mohammed Bamyeh term in the introduction to this issue: "common everyday stimulants." During wartime, the U.S. government has even ruled coffee a necessity for the national defense. Coffee became so integral to the U.S. war effort that it became known—and still is known—as "a cup of Joe" named after the symbolic soldier "G.I. Joe." This symbolic identification demonstrates that coffee has been far more than a simple "commodity." In fact, in the early eighteenth century, "drug" and "commodity" were sometimes considered opposites since "drugs" meant, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, "a commodity which is no longer in demand, and so has lost its value or become unsaleable." The dictionary cites a 1731 treatise on horses...

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... Coffee has developed a certain image in the United States. We take "coffee breaks" at work, we "go grab a cup of coffee" with friends or for a first date, we are well acquainted with Starbucks, we incorporate coffee shops into popular media, as in the TV show, Friends, and line up to see a pop-up replica of Central Perk 3 Coffee itself is a very popular commodity, generating more trade than any other trade good except petroleum (Tucker 2011) and is the most popular legal drug (Topik 2009). Even those of us who do not drink coffee or do not actively participate in coffee culture are affected by it. ...
... However, the origins of coffee consumption lie in the Ethiopian highlands. Before the coffee drink was developed, tribesmen in Ethiopia mixed ground coffee seeds (bunn) with animal fat for a high energy food, made tea from the leaves, and made wine from fermenting the coffee cherry (Pendergrast 2011, Topik 2009). How did the Ethiopian tribesmen know to eat this particular plant? ...
... He ordered officials to close coffeehouses, not because of the drink but because "the activities therein, were targets of opposition" (Hattox 1985:28). There are frequent references to "beautiful boys" serving patrons and acting as prostitutes in Ottoman coffeehouses (Tucker 2011;Hattox 1985;Topik 2009;Ellis 2004;Cowan 2005). However, more fundamentally, the social dynamics of the coffeehouses signaled the beginning of a new social order, which caused general anxiety, especially given the coffeehouses' resemblance to taverns. ...
Thesis
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This thesis presents the coffee shop as a center for urban sociability and traces its development over time. In order to contextualize and unpack the social meaning and uses of a coffee shop, I use theories of public and private place, placemaking, and sociability, with an emphasis on third places and their role in the urban public sphere. “The places where people meet to drink coffee have facilitated the development of what is now typically and stereotypically construed as the public realm,” comments John Manzo (2014), situating coffee shops in the discussion of public and private space. I build on this to investigate how the dichotomy between public and private space is mediated by third places, with the coffee shop as an example of a space that people think of as a third place. The methods I used in my research include reviewing the literature on public and private places, analyzing coffee shop history, examining media representations of coffee culture, and observing in coffee shops located in the New York City borough of Manhattan. My findings challenge the notion of the coffee shop as a third place as conceived by Oldenburg (1989) and show how coffee shops reproduce social class inequality. I offer an alternative conception of the third place, redefining it in terms of hybrid spaces, or spaces that lie in the intersection of the public and the private.
... Even though coffee is the most popular legal drug across the world because of its pharmacological effects (Topik, 2009) the disposition of a larger percentage of Nigerians, especially from the southern part of the country, does not align with the claim and assertion. Living or growing up in this part of the country, as a Nigerian, exposes you to certain fables and incredulities about coffee consumption, and these have become premises that define coffee consumption among a larger percentage of indigenes. ...
... The experience in the Northern part of the country is quite different, in that coffee consumption is very popular and well embraced among the citizens, and this may not be disconnected from the historical connection, affiliation and positive correlation of coffee with Islam (Topik, 2009;Crawford, 1852). Interestingly, the major cities and towns in the Northern part of the country are dotted with local cafés traditionally known as Mai Sai and they command huge patronage irrespective of time, season, or demographics. ...
... Historically, it originated from Africa, precisely Abyssinia (now Ethiopia) and thereof it spread to India, Armenia, the Middle East and other parts of the world (Crawford, 1852). The popularity and acceptance of coffee do not happen by chance, but its multi-characteristic potentials that cut across human's social, political, medicinal, religious and recreational adventures consolidate it (Crawford, 1852;Casiglia et al., 1993;Gonzalez et al., 2020;Topik, 2009;Giesinger et al., 2015;De Blasio, 2007;Stroebaek, 2013). In other words, coffee is a universal drink for multipurpose needs. ...
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine the coffee culture of citizens of Southern Nigeria. Specifically, different scales were developed to measure coffee culture among the citizens which cover health, socialisation, elitism, culture and commercialisation factors. Design/methodology/approach A quantitative approach was adopted for the study, and factor analysis was used to analyse the data collected through an online survey. As a result, EFA and CFA showed the test of sphericity and the different fit indexes. Findings The findings revealed the experiences of consumers and their disposition to coffee consumption to establish coffee culture among the citizens. Largely, the findings revealed that coffee culture is still very low among the citizens and the summation that coffee culture is still in infancy. Originality/value Given the importance of coffee culture in the larger world, and acceptance of coffee as a global social drink, the design of a scale that focussed on socialisation, health, elitism, culture and commercialisation factors help to robustly investigate the state of coffee culture among the citizens.
... It has also been faulted for treating labour at best as a factor of production, thus failing to consider how it may be affected by value-chain incorporation or how its agency may indeed even shape such chains ( Barrientos et al. 2003Barrientos et al. , 2011Cumbers et al. 2008;Coe and Jordhus-Lier 2011;Pegler and Knorringa 2007). Moreover, criticism has been levelled at the ignoring of the role of the state in shaping the regulatory environment in which value chains are embedded ( Neilson et al. 2014;Smith and Mahutga 2009;Topik 2009). Finally, it has been noted that there has been an overly optimistic view about less powerful actors' scope for economic upgrading. ...
... GPN scholars argue that the state can exert a material influence to ensure positive benefits for the integration of its citizens into value chains. On the other hand, state inaction or misdirected policies may have a detrimental effect on them ( Coe et al. 2008;Neilson et al. 2014;Smith and Mahutga 2009;Topik 2009). The GPN approach also focusses more overtly on labour and its collective organisations, not only as a factor of production but also on the ability of labour's agency to shape GPNs (Hess and Yeung 2006). ...
Chapter
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Tanzania’s Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor (SAGCOT) is a role-model economic growth corridor (EGC). It aims at easing the incorporation of smallholder farmers into global and regional value chains through partnerships with larger agricultural companies. EGCs in general and SAGCOT in particular are not only about upgrading infrastructure. They in fact address numerous challenges to local producers, including the lack of finance and knowledge relating to markets and production as well as their low bargaining power in global value chains (GVCs). This chapter starts with a summary of the conceptual literature on GVCs, of global production networks as well as of Kaplinsky’s understanding of power dynamics within GVCs. The authors then assess SAGCOT, showing how the initiative seeks to address existing inequalities and unfavourable power dynamics in GVC development. Potential challenges that SAGCOT faces are discussed, and corresponding policy recommendations given.
... It has also been faulted for treating labour at best as a factor of production, thus failing to consider how it may be affected by value-chain incorporation or how its agency may indeed even shape such chains (Barrientos et al. 2003(Barrientos et al. , 2011Cumbers et al. 2008;Coe and Jordhus-Lier 2011;Pegler and Knorringa 2007). Moreover, criticism has been levelled at the ignoring of the role of the state in shaping the regulatory environment in which value chains are embedded (Neilson et al. 2014;Smith and Mahutga 2009;Topik 2009). Finally, it has been noted that there has been an overly optimistic view about less powerful actors' scope for economic upgrading. ...
... GPN scholars argue that the state can exert a material influence to ensure positive benefits for the integration of its citizens into value chains. On the other hand, state inaction or misdirected policies may have a detrimental effect on them Neilson et al. 2014;Smith and Mahutga 2009;Topik 2009). The GPN approach also focusses more overtly on labour and its collective organisations, not only as a factor of production but also on the ability of labour's agency to shape GPNs (Hess and Yeung 2006). ...
Book
Development largely depends on how given places participate in global economic processes.The contributions to this book address various features of the integration of sub-Saharan Africa into the world economy via value chains, so as to explain corresponding challenges and opportunities. The book deals with five issues that have not been covered adequately in scientific debates: first, policies are essential to promote value chains and increase their impact on development; second, value chains are diverse, and the variance between them has major economic and political implications; third, regional value chains appear to constitute a viable alternative to global ones (or, at least, are complementary to them), promising better developmental outcomes for the Global South; fourth, political and socio-economic factors are important considerations for a complete assessment of value chains; fifth, cities and city regions are also crucial objects of study in seeking to achieve a comprehensive assessment of value chains.
... Coffee interaction with human become global idea in society and become shorthand for public sphere. [5]this ide was make coffeehouse become a favorite place to be coffee lovers to gathered and discussed. ...
... Meskipun hanya salah satu dari dimensi keberhasilan islamisasi di Indonesia, karena masih banyak elemen dan pendukung lainnya (Johns, 1995, pp. 182-183) (lihat Bruinessen, 1994, 2009, Howell, 2001. Corak kategorisasi tersebut sudah kian tergerus bersamaan dengan semakin banyaknya fenomena proliferasi sufisme, karena dalam sufisme terdapat paham yang identik dengan doktrin dalam salafisme, demikian sebaliknya. ...
Article
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Berangkat dari tesis bahwa sufisme dianggap sebagai media alternatif untuk membangun masyarakat yang ramah, toleran, dan menghargai keragaman, tulisan ini berusaha mencoba melihat kembali sejauh mana kekuatan tesis itu dengan meneropong fenomena baru tentang propagasi sufisme yang berlangsung di warung kopi. Diversitas masyarakat di warung kopi akan semakin memberikan gambaran lebih jelas terkait tesis tersebut. Bagaimana potret akseptasi masyarakat di warung kopi terhadap propagasi sufisme adalah sasaran utama dalam tulisan ini, di samping mendeskripsikan bentuk dan karakteristik sufisme yang di diseminasikan –meski bukan menjadi titik tekan utama. Pada sisi lain, tulisan ini juga semakin memperkuat asumsi tentang fenomena kebangkitan Islam sejak Akhir Abad 20, yang dipandang kian mampu menjangkau berbagai sektor ruang publik yang tidak dapat diprediksi sebelumnya. Hasil akhir studi menunjukkan bahwa bersamaan dengan berlangsungnya propagasi sufisme di warung kopi, ada lanskap yang menarik yang ditampilkan oleh masyarakat warung kopi. Akseptasi di antara pengikut (jama’ah), pengopi, dan pengunjung memberi gambaran bagaimana cara mereka menyikapi keragaman dan perbedaan. Masing-masing melakukan aktivitas dalam satu ruang tanpa ada yang merasa terganggu satu sama lainnya. Beberapa pengunjung dan pengopi -terlepas dari afiliasi organisasi keagamaannya di luar warung kopi- bahkan memberikan penghormatan yang tinggi, seperti; ikut berdiri ketika proses ritual penghormatan dalam sesi Maulid Nabi (mahal al-qiyam). Situasi ini tentu semakin memperkuat tesis di atas.
... There is the escape from a stressful office, the chance to maintain or grow a relationship, a place to get away for some reflective work, a chance to engage with friendly coffee shop staff at a particularly lonely time or as a place to do business and reach agreements (Baskerville, 2015). Coffee shops are a singularly important feature of a vast network of gathering spaces that make up our urban areas (Topik 2009). A coffee shop is a place where coffee is only a pretext to obtain other experiences. ...
Article
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Stellenbosch is a university town boasting knowledge-intensive economic sectors with a variety of ‘new economy’ occupations and activities. The presence of a professional and creative class, as well as university students has changed the economy, the retail landscape and the social spaces of the town. This paper reports on an investigation of the geography of coffee shops (third places) in downtown Stellenbosch and describes the social and physical factors which influence customer preferences for certain coffee shops. A brief review of the literature on the evolution of coffee shop and café cultures, the functioning as third places and the siting of coffee shops in inner cities (or specific neighbourhoods) is presented. A mixed-methods research approach consisting of transect walks, a questionnaire survey and three in-depth-interviews with coffee shop owners (or managers) is explained. The study area in the historical precinct of the town is contextualised. The bigger picture of coffee consumption in Stellenbosch – social and locational preferences, place attachments of consumers and the relative location of coffee shops – is sketched. The findings of three in-depth case studies (selected speciality coffee shops) are discussed. The paper concludes by pointing out some implications for the planning of consumption spaces in secondary cities in developing world contexts.
... Moreover, there is no source which exhibits that Kaffa had rejected this doctrine and used coffee exclusively (Geremew, 2013, p. 280-281). Topik (2009) also affirm that the Coptic Christians of Abyssinia locked in a war with Muslim enemies, outlawed coffee on religious grounds whereas Muslims in neighboring Harar were more taken by coffee and probably spread it to their fellow Muslims in Arabia. ...
Article
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This article deals with coffee ceremony of the Macha Oromo in Jimma zone aiming at investigating its cultural and social significances. Ethnographic methods like observation, focus group discussions and interview were used to collect data. Descriptive and interpretative approach was extensively exploited to analyze and synthesize the data. Barbara Fiese’s theoretical underpinnings, which basically focused on the family mealtime, was used to frame and interpret first hand data for coffee ceremony is a similar context. The finding of this study reveals that coffee drinking is deeply ceremonial and serves many social and cultural purposes. It is the stage on which different social issues are discussed, information is exchanged, solidarity is strengthened, children are socialized, norms and values of the society are audited, information is exchanged, peace is lamented and discussions are held. Thus, the latent function of coffee ceremony, bringing people and issues to one stage, is highly valued among the people of the study area. Therefore, coffee ceremony should not be seen merely as a place at which coffee is drunk and people relax; rather, it ought to be regarded as the stage serving many social, cultural and political purposes. Keywords: Coffee, Ceremony, Jimma, Macha, Oromo.
... Kahve bugün Dünya içecek tüketiminde sudan sonra ikinci olup, Dünya' da petrolden sonra en büyük ticaret alanını oluşturan meta olarak karşımıza çıkmaktadır 13,14,15,16,17 . Kahve ticari öneminin yanı sıra insanları bir araya getiren en güzel bahanedir. ...
Chapter
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Kahve ve kahve türleri Arabica Kahve (Coffea Arabica), Robusta Kahve (Coffea Canephora) ile Kahvenin Tarihçesinin ele alındığı bu bölümde, Osmanlı İmparatorluğu, Avrupa ve Amerika kıtasındaki kahvenin serüveni anlatılmaktadır.
... A closer look at the literature on coffee reveals its value as a sociological problematic. It has helped scholars decipher a wide variety of topics from colonialism (Kamola 2007;Peláez 1976;Seleti 1987;Temel 2002) to changing farming practices (Agergaard et al. 2009;Sick 2008) and taste and sociality (Manzo 2010(Manzo , 2015, from various forms of consumerism (Fridell 2007;Lauri and Backstrom 2019;Zander and Hamm 2010) and the rise of working class cultures (Schivelbusch 1993;Topik 2009), from gentrification (Donner and Loh 2019;Laniyonu 2018;Papachristos et al. 2011) to gender inequality (Lyon 2008;Terstappen et al. 2013), from climate change effects on agriculture (Eakin et al. 2005;Gillison et al. 2004) to international trade (Bacon 2010;Johnson 2010;Macdonald 2007;Rettberg 2010) and other forms of socio-political change (Habermas 1991;Kırlı 2009b). ...
Article
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This article is a call for a new research agenda: a socio-economic analysis of coffee in Turkey. To contextualize the importance and relevance of this effort, it first provides a critical assessment of the literature on coffee in Turkey by focusing on its two main manifestations: historical and sociological constellations. We show how earlier critical engagement with coffee as a commodity and a research subject helped scholars revise and go beyond the existing scholarship. We then claim a similar transformative prospect exists for political-economic manifestations of coffee today. We justify our claim by suggesting six potential research areas with relevant research questions and potentially enriching outcomes.
... This finding aligns with the extant argument that having coffee with someone is a social tool. For example, Topik (2009) Associated with this concept, the participants spoke about building their relationships through asking non-work related questions and therefore developing a more social or personal understanding of their stakeholders or team. Knowing what their team or stakeholders were passionate about. ...
Article
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Alignment seeking is the process of reaching agreement on what needs to be done and on the process that should be followed to complete the activity. This empirical study extends the scope of the current project-as-practice literature by providing descriptions of how project managers actually achieve alignment. Photographs taken by the research participants are used to trigger discussion in semi-structured interviews that explore the praxis of alignment seeking in project work. The practices found to enable alignment seeking include: creating a vision; storytelling; seeding ideas; identifying and using personal drivers, and appealing to stakeholders and team members' sense of a ‘higher good’. This paper highlights how alignment seeking can be achieved ‘in practice’ by project managers.
... The Starbucks brand heavily influenced the notion of the coffee consumption experience. Prior to Starbucks, there was the basic dichotomy of buying one's coffee from the supermarket or of purchasing a "coffee to go" at an undifferentiated chain establishment: the so-called Joe's cup (Topik, 2009). In introducing its new conceptualisation of the coffee drinking experience, Starbucks acted as cultural broker, readapting a cultural set of values (perceptions of the Italian bar space/timing/meaning) and incorporating them into American culture. ...
Article
Purpose Notwithstanding the importance innovation scholars have accredited to design-driven innovation (DDI), no attempts have been made so far to systematically study whether and how this innovation strategy can be used in the retail context in order to gain and nurture competitive advantage. The purpose of this paper is to make a first step towards closing this gap, and therefore understand whether and how companies involved in retail service can create competitive advantage by the adoption of a strategy based on innovation of meanings. Design/methodology/approach Due to the complex ecosystem of variables that inevitably influence the problem, the case study approach represents the best option to grasp the different aspects highlighted by the research objectives. The analysis undertook a thorough and systematic comparison with the use of an ad hoc “paired comparison method”, in which common systemic characteristics have been intended as a controlled variable in order to minimise the variance and quantity of factors that can have an impact on the selected case studies; intersystemic differences have been understood as explanatory variables to decree the contribution in terms of novelty in relation to the current paradigm. Findings The paper provides empirical insights about how radical innovation in meanings can be a very important lever on which retail firms can act to gain and nurture their competitive advantage. Research limitations/implications Of course the study has several limitations, which represent however opportunities for future research. The authors say that the findings, given the exploratory nature of the study, cannot be generalised to any population of firms or markets, rather they should be used as a basis to develop theoretical understanding of a complex phenomenon and draw research propositions and hypotheses to be tested in subsequent deductive empirical research. Practical implications This paper highlights the importance to think, beyond shopping experience, at the role of new meanings when designing service innovation in retail firms. Although the findings do not have statistical relevance, given the exploratory nature of the study, they suggest that DDI can be a viable option for retail firm managers to improve their firms’ competitiveness. Originality/value The study presented in this paper has merit to broaden the generalisability of the DDI model to other industries, different from those where it was initially studied and applied. This is an important step toward conceptualising DDI as a novel management paradigm.
... Workers started to meet for a cup of coffee during their workday in corners of production plants, business offices, and stores. With narrowed spaces for practicing parrhesia (Foucault 2001) and for facing power directly, coffee corners thus became private arenas for indirect resistance (Hannam 1997;Lee 2001;Stroebaek 2013;Topik 2009). ...
Article
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The unmanaged organization (Gabriel in Organ Stud 16:477–501, 1995) is moving from coffee corners to social networks. This means not only a change of media, but also a transformation in how organizations exert control over workers and how workers resist the commodification of emotions (Fineman, in: Fineman, Emotion in organizations, Sage, London, 2000; Lindebaum in J Manag Inq 21:262–277, 2012). After analyzing instances of the online publication of images and texts that escape organizational control, we identified three main ambiguities helpful in framing future studies about organizational control and resistance: ambiguity between private and public spheres, ambiguity between spontaneous and performed manifestations, and ambiguity between the distribution and control of power. Our main contribution is to understanding the Internet, particularly social networks, as a medium for employee resistance through distance (Collinson, in: Jermier et al., Resistance and power in organizations, Routledge, London, 1994), and in using the three aforementioned ambiguities to help analyze this phenomenon.
... 25 Given its classification as a hot and dry drug, tobacco also became, at least for men, a sign of a clear and rational mind when transacting business in the coffee houses, alehouses, and smoking clubs where smoking had become socialized as part of the period's commercial culture. 26 This sobriety trend, which included smoking tobacco and drinking coffee, coincided with England's spectacular economic growth during the 17th and 18th centuries that saw the institutionalization of a stock exchange, insurance industry, long-distance trade, and state-backed credit. ...
Article
Tobacco, like other popular commodities, both reflected the rhythms of early modern empires and contributed to them. People, goods, and ideas crossing the Atlantic Ocean often traveled as freight in vessels bound upon other business, and much of that was tobacco business. Using a variety of historical examples, the current article explores tobacco's economic, cultural, and labor-related worlds to show how one plant shaped institutions of human enslavement, altered colonial ecologies, offered new sensory possibilities, and ruined fortunes. Although now perhaps better known within medical contexts as a significant, preventable cause of death, tobacco as it is understood today is also a highly political, economic, and cultural product, characteristics that have shaped human relationships to the commodity over the centuries. The 17th and 18th centuries, for example, saw a dramatic rise in tobacco consumption in Europe alongside an influx of colonial natural products across the continent. The tobacco trade offered power and profit to some, exploitation and enslavement to others. It underwrote the rise of prominent merchant and political families while shaping the daily routines of countless enslaved men, women, and children tasked with growing the plant. Tobacco leaves also offered hopes of medical treatment and trustworthy business dealings, as well as a moment of respite on a long voyage. At every stage of its evolution into a global commodity, tobacco's meanings and roles changed, becoming more fully integrated into the European empire and its structures of power and profit in the process.
... Ensuring an adequate taste experience was from early on a central feature in the diffusion of coffee. Merchants introduced coffee to a new public in the Muslim world and Western Europe by establishing prestigious coffee houses that served as places of gathering and social exchange (Topik, 2009). ...
Conference Paper
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Synthetic foods advocates offer the promise of efficient, reliable, and sustainable food production. Engineered organisms become factories to produce food. Proponents claim that through this technique important barriers can be eliminated which would facilitate the production of traditional foods outside their climatic range. This technique would allow reducing food miles, secure future supply, and maintain quality and taste expectations. In this paper, we examine coffee production via biobased means. A start-up called Atomo Coffee aims to produce synthetic coffee with the aim of saving ‘the taste of coffee’ from the effects of climate change. This decontextualisation of coffee production ignores the current and historical contributions of coffee farmers in two ways: the traditional varieties in taste of coffee and their cultural significance, and the potential shade-grown coffee plantations have in capturing carbon. In addition, synthetic coffee may lead to the loss of agricultural biodiversity and the removal of resources away from production systems that provide a safe space for tropical flora and fauna. How should the ‘taste of coffee’ be owned? We investigate the property regimes under which we could consider owning the taste of coffee as a ‘synthetic’ agrobiodiversity to help identify rights and responsibilities. Building on this analysis, we consider dimensions of responsible innovation and social justice to help guide synthetic foods as an agricultural innovation.
... Ensuring an adequate taste experience was from early on a central feature in the diffusion of coffee. Merchants introduced coffee to a new public in the Muslim world and Western Europe by establishing prestigious coffee houses that served as places of gathering and social exchange (Topik, 2009). ...
Book
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The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals saw the global community agree to end hunger and malnutrition in all its forms by 2030. However, the number of chronically undernourished people is increasing continuously. Ongoing climate change and the action needed to adapt to it are very likely to aggravate this situation by limiting agricultural land and water resources and changing environmental conditions for food production. Climate change and the actions it requires raise questions of justice, especially regarding food security. These key concerns of ethics and justice for food security due to climate change challenges are the focus of this book, which brings together work by scholars from a wide range of disciplines and a multitude of perspectives. These experts discuss the challenges to food security posed by mitigation, geoengineering, and adaptation measures that tackle the impacts of climate change. Others address the consequences of a changing climate for agriculture and food production and how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected food security and animal welfare.
... Ensuring an adequate taste experience was from early on a central feature in the diffusion of coffee. Merchants introduced coffee to a new public in the Muslim world and Western Europe by establishing prestigious coffee houses that served as places of gathering and social exchange (Topik, 2009). ...
Conference Paper
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https://www.wageningenacademic.com/doi/abs/10.3920/978-90-8686-915-2_65 The status that charitable food aid resources have attained and the loss of responsibility by the Welfare State for the right to food undermines the latter doubly. In a first step, retrenchment and austerity reduce its operational space, which weakens it in its functions in the face of food insecurity. In a second step, the effect of charitable food aid resources undermines the idea about its redistributive function, which has been a basis for its legitimacy. The main hypothesis of this work is that this double undermining of the welfare state is constantly reinforced. It defends, through a logical-critical reflection based on specialized bibliography, that charitable food aid resources are a threat to the fundamental ethos of the welfare state, to its ability to respond to collective problems. The retrenchment and the austerity have strengthened the charitable food resources. Organizationally, the fact of not reaching the objective for which they arose, that is to say, ending food insecurity, paradoxically, reinforces them. Therefore, situations such as those triggered by Covid reinforce them even more. Closing the circle of dynamics, the effects of the work of these resources, where collective solidarity is channelled away from the traditional public redistributive mechanisms, represents a new motive of erosion. The main conclusion is that this phenomenon generates feelings of guilt or shame, and stigmatizes the recipients of food aid. It expels these people in vulnerable situations from the normalized consumption circuit. On the other hand, the institutionalization of food aid resources distracts from the origin of poverty, hides the true reasons for food need. Despite all this, it is important to bear in mind that it is the only resource available to many food-insecure people.
... Drinking coffee has become a habit due to the caffeine content, making people consume it daily. Besides, coffee is the most frequently consumed and traded commodity as caffeine is the most popular substance in the world (Weinberg & Bealer, 2004;Topik, 2009;Courtwright, 2001). The habit of drinking coffee is carried out at home and outside, making its development rapid in the urban community. ...
Article
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This study aims to examine the coffee culture and cultural production in two shops in Pekanbaru city, Indonesia, namely Arifin Ahmad and Ronggowarsito streets. In this study, a phenomenological analysis perspective was employed, and the results exhibited that the cultural ecosystem built between the two regions differs in response to the coffee culture in Pekanbaru city. The cultural phenomenon similarly leads to a different character of the urban community. Moreover, the coffee shops at Arifin Ahmad street still respond to traditional forms and are transformed into modern views, while shops at Ronggowarsito create characteristics of an urban community.
... Similar to CBs, coffee can also enter into solution by dissolution [33,34]. This beverage, produced from roasted seeds of Coffea plants [35], is one of the most widely consumed drinks in the world [36]. Its increased intake has been accompanied by the discarding of huge amounts of waste [37] into the environment. ...
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Introduction In December 2010, Nespresso, the world’s leading brand of premium-portioned coffee, opened a flagship “boutique” in Sydney’s Pitt Street Mall. This was Nespresso’s fifth boutique opening of 2010, after Brussels, Miami, Soho, and Munich. The Sydney debut coincided with the mall’s upmarket redevelopment, which explains Nespresso’s arrival in the city: strategic geographic expansion is key to the brand’s growth. Rather than panoramic ubiquity, a retail option favoured by brands like McDonalds, KFC and Starbucks, Nespresso opts for iconic, prestigious locations. This strategy has been highly successful: since 2000 Nespresso has recorded year-on-year per annum growth of 30 per cent. This has been achieved, moreover, despite a global financial downturn and an international coffee market replete with brand variety. In turn, Nespresso marks an evolution in the coffee market over the last decade. The Nespresso Story Founded in 1986, Nespresso is the fasting growing brand in the Nestlé Group. Its headquarters are in Lausanne, Switzerland, with over 7,000 employees worldwide. In 2012, Nespresso had 270 boutiques in 50 countries. The brand’s growth strategy involves three main components: premium coffee capsules, “mated” with specially designed machines, and accompanied by exceptional customer service through the Nespresso Club. Each component requires some explanation. Nespresso offers 16 varieties of Grand Crus coffee: 7 espresso blends, 3 pure origin espressos, 3 lungos (for larger cups), and 3 decaffeinated coffees. Each 5.5 grams of portioned coffee is cased in a hermetically sealed aluminium capsule, or pod, designed to preserve the complex, volatile aromas (between 800 and 900 per pod), and prevent oxidation. These capsules are designed to be used exclusively with Nespresso-branded machines, which are equipped with a patented high-pressure extraction system designed for optimum release of the coffee. These machines, of which there are 28 models, are developed with 6 machine partners, and Antoine Cahen, from Ateliers du Nord in Lausanne, designs most of them. For its consumers, members of the Nespresso Club, the capsules and machines guarantee perfect espresso coffee every time, within seconds and with minimum effort—what Nespresso calls the “ultimate coffee experience.” The Nespresso Club promotes this experience as an everyday luxury, whereby café-quality coffee can be enjoyed in the privacy and comfort of Club members’ homes. This domestic focus is a relatively recent turn in its history. Nestlé patented some of its pod technology in 1976; the compatible machines, initially made in Switzerland by Turmix, were developed a decade later. Nespresso S. A. was set up as a subsidiary unit within the Nestlé Group with a view to target the office and fine restaurant sector. It was first test-marketed in Japan in 1986, and rolled out the same year in Switzerland, France and Italy. However, by 1988, low sales prompted Nespresso’s newly appointed CEO, Jean-Paul Gillard, to rethink the brand’s focus. Gillard subsequently repositioned Nespresso’s target market away from the commercial sector towards high-income households and individuals, and introduced a mail-order distribution system; these elements became the hallmarks of the Nespresso Club (Markides 55). The Nespresso Club was designed to give members who had purchased Nespresso machines 24-hour customer service, by mail, phone, fax, and email. By the end of 1997 there were some 250,000 Club members worldwide. The boom in domestic, user-friendly espresso machines from the early 1990s helped Nespresso’s growth in this period. The cumulative efforts by the main manufacturers—Krups, Bosch, Braun, Saeco and DeLonghi—lowered the machines’ average price to around US $100 (Purpura, “Espresso” 88; Purpura, “New” 116). This paralleled consumers’ growing sophistication, as they became increasingly familiar with café-quality espresso, cappuccino and latté—for reasons to be detailed below. Nespresso was primed to exploit this cultural shift in the market and forge a charismatic point of difference: an aspirational, luxury option within an increasingly accessible and familiar field. Between 2006 and 2008, Nespresso sales more than doubled, prompting a second production factory to supplement the original plant in Avenches (Simonian). In 2008, Nespresso grew 20 times faster than the global coffee market (Reguly B1). As Nespresso sales exceeded $1.3 billion AU in 2009, with 4.8 billion capsules shipped out annually and 5 million Club members worldwide, it became Nestlé’s fastest growing division (Canning 28). According to Nespresso’s Oceania market director, Renaud Tinel, the brand now represents 8 per cent of the total coffee market; of Nespresso specifically, he reports that 10,000 cups (using one capsule per cup) were consumed worldwide each minute in 2009, and that increased to 12,300 cups per minute in 2010 (O’Brien 16). Given such growth in such a brief period, the atypical dynamic between the boutique, the Club and the Nespresso brand warrants closer consideration. Nespresso opened its first boutique in Paris in 2000, on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. It was a symbolic choice and signalled the brand’s preference for glamorous precincts in cosmopolitan cities. This has become the design template for all Nespresso boutiques, what the company calls “brand embassies” in its press releases. More like art gallery-style emporiums than retail spaces, these boutiques perform three main functions: they showcase Nespresso coffees, machines and accessories (all elegantly displayed); they enable Club members to stock up on capsules; and they offer excellent customer service, which invariably equates to detailed production information. The brand’s revenue model reflects the boutique’s role in the broader business strategy: 50 per cent of Nespresso’s business is generated online, 30 per cent through the boutiques, and 20 per cent through call centres. Whatever floor space these boutiques dedicate to coffee consumption is—compared to the emphasis on exhibition and ambience—minimal and marginal. In turn, this tightly monitored, self-focused model inverts the conventional function of most commercial coffee sites. For several hundred years, the café has fostered a convivial atmosphere, served consumers’ social inclinations, and overwhelmingly encouraged diverse, eclectic clientele. The Nespresso boutique is the antithesis to this, and instead actively limits interaction: the Club “community” does not meet as a community, and is united only in atomised allegiance to the Nespresso brand. In this regard, Nespresso stands in stark contrast to another coffee brand that has been highly successful in recent years—Starbucks. Starbucks famously recreates the aesthetics, rhetoric and atmosphere of the café as a “third place”—a term popularised by urban sociologist Ray Oldenburg to describe non-work, non-domestic spaces where patrons converge for respite or recreation. These liminal spaces (cafés, parks, hair salons, book stores and such locations) might be private, commercial sites, yet they provide opportunities for chance encounters, even therapeutic interactions. In this way, they aid sociability and civic life (Kleinman 193). Long before the term “third place” was coined, coffee houses were deemed exemplars of egalitarian social space. As Rudolf P. Gaudio notes, the early coffee houses of Western Europe, in Oxford and London in the mid-1600s, “were characterized as places where commoners and aristocrats could meet and socialize without regard to rank” (670). From this sanguine perspective, they both informed and animated the modern public sphere. That is, and following Habermas, as a place where a mixed cohort of individuals could meet and discuss matters of public importance, and where politics intersected society, the eighteenth-century British coffee house both typified and strengthened the public sphere (Karababa and Ger 746). Moreover, and even from their early Ottoman origins (Karababa and Ger), there has been an historical correlation between the coffee house and the cosmopolitan, with the latter at least partly defined in terms of demographic breadth (Luckins). Ironically, and insofar as Nespresso appeals to coffee-literate consumers, the brand owes much to Starbucks. In the two decades preceding Nespresso’s arrival, Starbucks played a significant role in refining coffee literacy around the world, gauging mass-market trends, and stirring consumer consciousness. For Nespresso, this constituted major preparatory phenomena, as its strategy (and success) since the early 2000s presupposed the coffee market that Starbucks had helped to create. According to Nespresso’s chief executive Richard Giradot, central to Nespresso’s expansion is a focus on particular cities and their coffee culture (Canning 28). In turn, it pays to take stock of how such cities developed a coffee culture amenable to Nespresso—and therein lays the brand’s debt to Starbucks. Until the last few years, and before celebrity ambassador George Clooney was enlisted in 2005, Nespresso’s marketing was driven primarily by Club members’ recommendations. At the same time, though, Nespresso insisted that Club members were coffee connoisseurs, whose knowledge and enjoyment of coffee exceeded conventional coffee offerings. In 2000, Henk Kwakman, one of Nestlé’s Coffee Specialists, explained the need for portioned coffee in terms of guaranteed perfection, one that demanding consumers would expect. “In general”, he reasoned, “people who really like espresso coffee are very much more quality driven. When you consider such an intense taste experience, the quality is very important. If the espresso is slightly off quality, the connoisseur notices this immediately” (quoted in Butler 50). What matters here is how this corps of connoisseurs grew to a scale big enough to sustain and strengthen the Nespresso system, in the absence of a robust marketing or educative drive by Nespresso (until very recently). Put simply, the brand’s ascent was aided by Starbucks, specifically by the latter’s success in changing the mainstream coffee market during the 1990s. In establishing such a strong transnational presence, Starbucks challenged smaller, competing brands to define themselves with more clarity and conviction. Indeed, working with data that identified just 200 freestanding coffee houses in the US prior to 1990 compared to 14,000 in 2003, Kjeldgaard and Ostberg go so far as to state that: “Put bluntly, in the US there was no local coffee consumptionscape prior to Starbucks” (Kjeldgaard and Ostberg 176). Starbucks effectively redefined the coffee world for mainstream consumers in ways that were directly beneficial for Nespresso. Starbucks: Coffee as Ambience, Experience, and Cultural Capital While visitors to Nespresso boutiques can sample the coffee, with highly trained baristas and staff on site to explain the Nespresso system, in the main there are few concessions to the conventional café experience. Primarily, these boutiques function as material spaces for existing Club members to stock up on capsules, and therefore they complement the Nespresso system with a suitably streamlined space: efficient, stylish and conspicuously upmarket. Outside at least one Sydney boutique for instance (Bondi Junction, in the fashionable eastern suburbs), visitors enter through a club-style cordon, something usually associated with exclusive bars or hotels. This demarcates the boutique from neighbouring coffee chains, and signals Nespresso’s claim to more privileged patrons. This strategy though, the cultivation of a particular customer through aesthetic design and subtle flattery, is not unique. For decades, Starbucks also contrived a “special” coffee experience. Moreover, while the Starbucks model strikes a very different sensorial chord to that of Nespresso (in terms of décor, target consumer and so on) it effectively groomed and prepped everyday coffee drinkers to a level of relative self-sufficiency and expertise—and therein is the link between Starbucks’s mass-marketed approach and Nespresso’s timely arrival. Starbucks opened its first store in 1971, in Seattle. Three partners founded it: Jerry Baldwin and Zev Siegl, both teachers, and Gordon Bowker, a writer. In 1982, as they opened their sixth Seattle store, they were joined by Howard Schultz. Schultz’s trip to Italy the following year led to an entrepreneurial epiphany to which he now attributes Starbucks’s success. Inspired by how cafés in Italy, particularly the espresso bars in Milan, were vibrant social hubs, Schultz returned to the US with a newfound sensitivity to ambience and attitude. In 1987, Schultz bought Starbucks outright and stated his business philosophy thus: “We aren’t in the coffee business, serving people. We are in the people business, serving coffee” (quoted in Ruzich 432). This was articulated most clearly in how Schultz structured Starbucks as the ultimate “third place”, a welcoming amalgam of aromas, music, furniture, textures, literature and free WiFi. This transformed the café experience twofold. First, sensory overload masked the dull homogeny of a global chain with an air of warm, comforting domesticity—an inviting, everyday “home away from home.” To this end, in 1994, Schultz enlisted interior design “mastermind” Wright Massey; with his team of 45 designers, Massey created the chain’s decor blueprint, an “oasis for contemplation” (quoted in Scerri 60). At the same time though, and second, Starbucks promoted a revisionist, airbrushed version of how the coffee was produced. Patrons could see and smell the freshly roasted beans, and read about their places of origin in the free pamphlets. In this way, Starbucks merged the exotic and the cosmopolitan. The global supply chain underwent an image makeover, helped by a “new” vocabulary that familiarised its coffee drinkers with the diversity and complexity of coffee, and such terms as aroma, acidity, body and flavour. This strategy had a decisive impact on the coffee market, first in the US and then elsewhere: Starbucks oversaw a significant expansion in coffee consumption, both quantitatively and qualitatively. In the decades following the Second World War, coffee consumption in the US reached a plateau. Moreover, as Steven Topik points out, the rise of this type of coffee connoisseurship actually coincided with declining per capita consumption of coffee in the US—so the social status attributed to specialised knowledge of coffee “saved” the market: “Coffee’s rise as a sign of distinction and connoisseurship meant its appeal was no longer just its photoactive role as a stimulant nor the democratic sociability of the coffee shop” (Topik 100). Starbucks’s singular triumph was to not only convert non-coffee drinkers, but also train them to a level of relative sophistication. The average “cup o’ Joe” thus gave way to the latte, cappuccino, macchiato and more, and a world of coffee hitherto beyond (perhaps above) the average American consumer became both regular and routine. By 2003, Starbucks’s revenue was US $4.1 billion, and by 2012 there were almost 20,000 stores in 58 countries. As an idealised “third place,” Starbucks functioned as a welcoming haven that flattened out and muted the realities of global trade. The variety of beans on offer (Arabica, Latin American, speciality single origin and so on) bespoke a generous and bountiful modernity; while brochures schooled patrons in the nuances of terroir, an appreciation for origin and distinctiveness that encoded cultural capital. This positioned Starbucks within a happy narrative of the coffee economy, and drew patrons into this story by flattering their consumer choices. Against the generic sameness of supermarket options, Starbucks promised distinction, in Pierre Bourdieu’s sense of the term, and diversity in its coffee offerings. For Greg Dickinson, the Starbucks experience—the scent of the beans, the sound of the grinders, the taste of the coffees—negated the abstractions of postmodern, global trade: by sensory seduction, patrons connected with something real, authentic and material. At the same time, Starbucks professed commitment to the “triple bottom line” (Savitz), the corporate mantra that has morphed into virtual orthodoxy over the last fifteen years. This was hardly surprising; companies that trade in food staples typically grown in developing regions (coffee, tea, sugar, and coffee) felt the “political-aesthetic problematization of food” (Sassatelli and Davolio). This saw increasingly cognisant consumers trying to reconcile the pleasures of consumption with environmental and human responsibilities. The “triple bottom line” approach, which ostensibly promotes best business practice for people, profits and the planet, was folded into Starbucks’s marketing. The company heavily promoted its range of civic engagement, such as donations to nurses’ associations, literacy programs, clean water programs, and fair dealings with its coffee growers in developing societies (Simon). This bode well for its target market. As Constance M. Ruch has argued, Starbucks sought the burgeoning and lucrative “bobo” class, a term Ruch borrows from David Brooks. A portmanteau of “bourgeois bohemians,” “bobo” describes the educated elite that seeks the ambience and experience of a counter-cultural aesthetic, but without the political commitment. Until the last few years, it seemed Starbucks had successfully grafted this cultural zeitgeist onto its “third place.” Ironically, the scale and scope of the brand’s success has meant that Starbucks’s claim to an ethical agenda draws frequent and often fierce attack. As a global behemoth, Starbucks evolved into an iconic symbol of advanced consumer culture. For those critical of how such brands overwhelm smaller, more local competition, the brand is now synonymous for insidious, unstoppable retail spread. This in turn renders Starbucks vulnerable to protests that, despite its gestures towards sustainability (human and environmental), and by virtue of its size, ubiquity and ultimately conservative philosophy, it has lost whatever cachet or charm it supposedly once had. As Bryant Simon argues, in co-opting the language of ethical practice within an ultimately corporatist context, Starbucks only ever appealed to a modest form of altruism; not just in terms of the funds committed to worthy causes, but also to move thorny issues to “the most non-contentious middle-ground,” lest conservative customers felt alienated (Simon 162). Yet, having flagged itself as an ethical brand, Starbucks became an even bigger target for anti-corporatist sentiment, and the charge that, as a multinational giant, it remained complicit in (and one of the biggest benefactors of) a starkly inequitable and asymmetric global trade. It remains a major presence in the world coffee market, and arguably the most famous of the coffee chains. Over the last decade though, the speed and intensity with which Nespresso has grown, coupled with its atypical approach to consumer engagement, suggests that, in terms of brand equity, it now offers a more compelling point of difference than Starbucks. Brand “Me” Insofar as the Nespresso system depends on a consumer market versed in the intricacies of quality coffee, Starbucks can be at least partly credited for nurturing a more refined palate amongst everyday coffee drinkers. Yet while Starbucks courted the “average” consumer in its quest for market control, saturating the suburban landscape with thousands of virtually indistinguishable stores, Nespresso marks a very different sensibility. Put simply, Nespresso inverts the logic of a coffee house as a “third place,” and patrons are drawn not to socialise and relax but to pursue their own highly individualised interests. The difference with Starbucks could not be starker. One visitor to the Bloomingdale boutique (in New York’s fashionable Soho district) described it as having “the feel of Switzerland rather than Seattle. Instead of velvet sofas and comfy music, it has hard surfaces, bright colours and European hostesses” (Gapper 9). By creating a system that narrows the gap between production and consumption, to the point where Nespresso boutiques advertise the coffee brand but do not promote on-site coffee drinking, the boutiques are blithely indifferent to the historical, romanticised image of the coffee house as a meeting place. The result is a coffee experience that exploits the sophistication and vanity of aspirational consumers, but ignores the socialising scaffold by which coffee houses historically and perhaps naively made some claim to community building. If anything, Nespresso restricts patrons’ contemplative field: they consider only their relationships to the brand. In turn, Nespresso offers the ultimate expression of contemporary consumer capitalism, a hyper-individual experience for a hyper-modern age. By developing a global brand that is both luxurious and niche, Nespresso became “the Louis Vuitton of coffee” (Betts 14). Where Starbucks pursued retail ubiquity, Nespresso targets affluent, upmarket cities. As chief executive Richard Giradot put it, with no hint of embarrassment or apology: “If you take China, for example, we are not speaking about China, we are speaking about Shanghai, Hong Kong, Beijing because you will not sell our concept in the middle of nowhere in China” (quoted in Canning 28). For this reason, while Europe accounts for 90 per cent of Nespresso sales (Betts 15), its forays into the Americas, Asia and Australasia invariably spotlights cities that are already iconic or emerging economic hubs. The first boutique in Latin America, for instance, was opened in Jardins, a wealthy suburb in Sao Paulo, Brazil. In Nespresso, Nestlé has popularised a coffee experience neatly suited to contemporary consumer trends: Club members inhabit a branded world as hermetically sealed as the aluminium pods they purchase and consume. Besides the Club’s phone, fax and online distribution channels, pods can only be bought at the boutiques, which minimise even the potential for serendipitous mingling. The baristas are there primarily for product demonstrations, whilst highly trained staff recite the machines’ strengths (be they in design or utility), or information about the actual coffees. For Club members, the boutique service is merely the human extension of Nespresso’s online presence, whereby product information becomes increasingly tailored to increasingly individualised tastes. In the boutique, this emphasis on the individual is sold in terms of elegance, expedience and privilege. Nespresso boasts that over 70 per cent of its workforce is “customer facing,” sharing their passion and knowledge with Club members. Having already received and processed the product information (through the website, boutique staff, and promotional brochures), Club members need not do anything more than purchase their pods. In some of the more recently opened boutiques, such as in Paris-Madeleine, there is even an Exclusive Room where only Club members may enter—curious tourists (or potential members) are kept out. Club members though can select their preferred Grands Crus and checkout automatically, thanks to RFID (radio frequency identification) technology inserted in the capsule sleeves. So, where Starbucks exudes an inclusive, hearth-like hospitality, the Nespresso Club appears more like a pampered clique, albeit a growing one. As described in the Financial Times, “combine the reception desk of a designer hotel with an expensive fashion display and you get some idea what a Nespresso ‘coffee boutique’ is like” (Wiggins and Simonian 10). Conclusion Instead of sociability, Nespresso puts a premium on exclusivity and the knowledge gained through that exclusive experience. The more Club members know about the coffee, the faster and more individualised (and “therefore” better) the transaction they have with the Nespresso brand. This in turn confirms Zygmunt Bauman’s contention that, in a consumer society, being free to choose requires competence: “Freedom to choose does not mean that all choices are right—there are good and bad choices, better and worse choices. The kind of choice eventually made is the evidence of competence or its lack” (Bauman 43-44). Consumption here becomes an endless process of self-fashioning through commodities; a process Eva Illouz considers “all the more strenuous when the market recruits the consumer through the sysiphian exercise of his/her freedom to choose who he/she is” (Illouz 392). In a status-based setting, the more finely graded the differences between commodities (various places of origin, blends, intensities, and so on), the harder the consumer works to stay ahead—which means to be sufficiently informed. Consumers are locked in a game of constant reassurance, to show upward mobility to both themselves and society. For all that, and like Starbucks, Nespresso shows some signs of corporate social responsibility. In 2009, the company announced its “Ecolaboration” initiative, a series of eco-friendly targets for 2013. By then, Nespresso aims to: source 80 per cent of its coffee through Sustainable Quality Programs and Rainforest Alliance Certified farms; triple its capacity to recycle used capsules to 75 per cent; and reduce the overall carbon footprint required to produce each cup of Nespresso by 20 per cent (Nespresso). This information is conveyed through the brand’s website, press releases and brochures. However, since such endeavours are now de rigueur for many brands, it does not register as particularly innovative, progressive or challenging: it is an unexceptional (even expected) part of contemporary mainstream marketing. Indeed, the use of actor George Clooney as Nespresso’s brand ambassador since 2005 shows shrewd appraisal of consumers’ political and cultural sensibilities. As a celebrity who splits his time between Hollywood and Lake Como in Italy, Clooney embodies the glamorous, cosmopolitan lifestyle that Nespresso signifies. However, as an actor famous for backing political and humanitarian causes (having raised awareness for crises in Darfur and Haiti, and backing calls for the legalisation of same-sex marriage), Clooney’s meanings extend beyond cinema: as a celebrity, he is multi-coded. Through its association with Clooney, and his fusion of star power and worldly sophistication, the brand is imbued with semantic latitude. Still, in the television commercials in which Clooney appears for Nespresso, his role as the Hollywood heartthrob invariably overshadows that of the political campaigner. These commercials actually pivot on Clooney’s romantic appeal, an appeal which is ironically upstaged in the commercials by something even more seductive: Nespresso coffee. References Bauman, Zygmunt. “Collateral Casualties of Consumerism.” Journal of Consumer Culture 7.1 (2007): 25–56. Betts, Paul. “Nestlé Refines its Arsenal in the Luxury Coffee War.” Financial Times 28 Apr. (2010): 14. Bourdieu, Pierre. 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During the period spanning independence in 1822 to mid-century, Brazil’s southeast shifted from specialising in the export of cane sugar to coffee. This paper explores the mechanism underlying this shift by exploiting a wealth of new monthly data on the Brazilian and international coffee and cane sugar markets during the period 1827-40. I argue that the timing of the coffee boom was driven by a rapid increase in foreign market potential associated with the abolition of the tariff on coffee in the United States. I estimate that American tariff reform served to increase coffee exports and African slave imports by around one-fifth. American firms, with indirect links to the slave trade, rapidly became major players in the export market in Rio de Janeiro, while non-American firms, traditionally specialised in Continental European destinations, turned their sights on the American market.
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Il n'est pas de lieu public plus massivement présent en Algérie que le café. Seule la banalité du fait nous empêche sans doute de le voir. En regard des lieux majeurs de l'économie et de la politique, de l'espace secret de la maison, qui ordonnent et contrôlent le lien social, il paraît anomique et sans valeur. Est-il pourtant un lieu de sociabilité par où passe plus continuement l'échange social ? Autrement prolifique que la mosquée, accordé comme elle aux heures de prières mais tout autant aux horaires de transport et de bureau, aux activités du marché, aux fluctuations du ciel et des saisons, au désœuvrement des sans-travail et au délassement du passant, n'est-il pas ouvert à tous (en fait à tous les hommes) et à tout moment ? La diversité de ses usages, la variété de ses formes, la multiplicité de ses ancrages et de ses clienteles.
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This article analyzes the division of the total income and surplus generated along the coffee commodity chain during the period 1971–1995. Until the late 1980s, coffee growers and producing states retained over a third of the total income and about half of the total surplus that was available. This was due in part to the collective actions of coffee-producing states, which led to the imposition of a regulatory regime involving export quotas, creating rents for the producing countries. By the late 1980s, coffee TNCs had consolidated their control over core markets, and began to use their market power to increase their shares of both income and surplus. This shift was greatly accelerated by the breakdown of the export quota regime in 1989. The article concludes that these results necessitate a reformulation of commodity chain analysis.
No Logo The 'Great Drain' and Industrialization: Commodity Flows from Periphery to Center in Historical Perspective Trends and Factors
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" Trans. Patricia M. Ranum. In Food and Drink in History. Ed. Robert Forster and Orest Ranum. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. 86–97.
Coffee and Coffee-houses. Trans. Paul Roper
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Heise, Ulla. 1987. Coffee and Coffee-houses. Trans. Paul Roper. West Chester, Pa.: Schiffer.
Coffee: The Epic of a Commodity
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Jacob, H. E. 1998. Coffee: The Epic of a Commodity. 1935 rpt. Trans. Eden and Cedar Paul. Short Hills, N.J.: Burford Books.
Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Trans-formed Our World
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Pendergrast, Mark. 1999. Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Trans-formed Our World. 1999. New York: Basic Books. ———. 1993. For God, Country, and Coca Cola. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.
História do Café no Brasil e no Mundo Rio de Janeiro: Livraria Kosmos. Paige, Jefferey. 1997. Coffee and Power: Revolution and the Rise of Democracy in Cen-tral America
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Oliveira, J. T. 1984. História do Café no Brasil e no Mundo. Rio de Janeiro: Livraria Kosmos. Paige, Jefferey. 1997. Coffee and Power: Revolution and the Rise of Democracy in Cen-tral America. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Americanizing Coffee: The Refashioning of a Consumer Culture Food and Globalization: Consumption, Markets and Politics in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
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MacDonald, Michelle Craig and Steven Topik. 2008. " Americanizing Coffee: The Refashioning of a Consumer Culture. " Food and Globalization: Consumption, Markets and Politics in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. Ed. Alexander Nutzenadel and Frank Trentmann. London: Berg.
Tasting Food, Tasting Freedom: Excursions into Eating, Culture, and the Past Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History
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The Other Species World Unbroken Landscape: Commodity, Category, Sign and Identity: Their Production as Myth and Knowledge from 1500
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Perlin, Frank. 1994. " The Other Species World. " Unbroken Landscape: Commodity, Category, Sign and Identity: Their Production as Myth and Knowledge from 1500. Aldershot, UK: Variorum.
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