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Thursday, May 05, 2005

A world commodity, second only to oil !!!

It all began with a goat herder in Ethiopia. After realizing that some of his goats were more frisky after eating some odd looking berries, he picked some for himself. Kaldi started to feel refreshed and much happier.
Some time later (1475) the first coffee shop in Constantinople opens.
In the 16oo coffee enters Europe through the port of Venice. Pocahontas boyfriend, Captain John Smith introduced coffee to America, but of course the Canadians claim it was already there.
In 1652 The first coffeehouse opens in London, a corner building that houses now the Jamaican Winehouse. The term TIPS was actually coined in an English coffeehouse; a little card with "To Insure Propmpt Service" was placed next to a coffee cup and those who wanted to be served quickly and have better seating threw a coin into a tin.
The amazing thing about coffee houses is that all sorts of social classes meet and started talking and coffee houses became associated with radical ideas. King Charles tried in 1675 to close coffee houses, but the bill was never enacted due to a national outcry.
Until WW II England was a tea drinking nation. That all changed when instant coffee arrived. An overproduction in Brazil made Swiss company Nestle buy a lot of coffee beans and invent instant coffee. That appealed to England´s housewifes and morning coffee gatherings start. In Germany a wave called "Kaffeeklatsch" starts in the 1900.
1908 the first drip coffeemaker was invented (Melitta Bentz), the prototype of our modern coffee machine.
Nescafe gets competition. Lately people have regained the preference for fresh ground coffee and something started on a little side street in downtown Seattle. And now we have a Starbucks almost everywhere in the world.
It is really weird that it hasn´t caught on here in Iceland.
Now there is a business idea if I ever saw one.

Posted by Minka :: 6:45 pm :: 4 Royal Subjects

Link to this Royal Decree!


At 14:01, Blogger Lisa Skvísa said...

Yeah I had thought of opening a Starbucks here but it's really expensive most places in the world, so it would be even moreso here and we already pay enough for basic coffee... actually I think someone thought about starting it already but the expense of import and that was too high. It's funny though what kind of people go to different coffee houses and why. You get the places where the "artistes" hang out and then the places where you go to be seen but whatever the reason they always make you feel good when you're there... like Churches for the non-religious! ;-)

At 15:41, Blogger Tryggvi said...

I think its unbelievable that someone hasn´t got the franchise for Starbucks yet in Iceland. I would think that there is money to be made here as everywhere else. We have almost every other giant-american-consumer-product-chain here already. Why not Starbucks? Anyway, a nice historical post from the girlfriend. Now I know where the tip came from originally. Do we want the tips culture in Iceland?

At 17:06, Blogger Lisa Skvísa said...

Tipping is a law unto it's own... different in every single country... I don't particularly like the non-tipping here but then if I felt I had to tip and it would cost me more money, I wouldn't like that either... I just feel guilty when I don't tip and pissed when I feel I have to... I vote we stay as we are... the guilt will subside eventually! ;-)

At 22:30, Blogger Kolbrún said...

Not all mega chains want to allow people to open up franchises. I think I heard it sometime that some Icelandic business person tried to get the franchise but couldn't ... Starbucks guys didn't think it was worth it. Ikea is for example not really a franchise, Ikea guys didn't believe in Iceland as a good market but allowed "us" to use the name and sell their furniture. Therefore the high price. Hope I'm not telling lies but this is what I've heard.


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