#87 | Negotiating Place and Taste: How Coffee Becomes “Glocal” | WOC Lectures 2019

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Throughout its long history, coffee has been cast in very different roles: exotic beverage, colonial good, global commodity – but also as a staple of the local cuisines of the countries where it was produced. Leaning on an ongoing Sociological study conducted in Paris, today’s lecturer - Noa Berger - will show how specialty coffee changes and adapts to the culture of the countries in which it is introduced, and exploring what it means for coffee, a global commodity, to become “local.”

According to Noa, the local specialty coffee market increasingly mobilizes the past and local traditions through aesthetic choices, in what not only allows it to reach a larger audience, but also serves as means to extract and create value, in line with contemporary tendencies in global capitalism. But while doing this, the local specialty coffee market also puts the geographical provenance of coffee at its center. As Noa wrote in Issue 9 of 25, this combination of approaches makes it a “glocal” movement, constantly trying to strike a balance between “origin” and local culture, innovation, and tradition.

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