In 1991, coffee-drinking seemed to be on its way out in the United States. From a peak consumption of 3.2 cups per day per person on average in 1962, coffee consumption was down to measly 1.75 cups. There were good reasons for this: Nobody liked the cheap, nasty sludge generally available and the entire experience reeked of Grandma.
Enter advertising giant Ogilvy and Mather, working for Maxwell House.
Their suggestion: Segment the product by quality, value and personal image—ideas that all ended up leading to the thriving coffee market of today. Just when we thought we were out, they sucked us back in. (Meanwhile, the parallel rise of coffee and decline of tobacco could be a sociology thesis, in and of itself.)
That little insight is part of a three-part series on the anthropology of coffee on the blog Anthropology in Practice. The first part looks at how coffee became a necessary part of our morning existence. The second delves into the history of the coffee bean in human culture. And the third examines the social role of coffee in creating a culture of productivity.
Image courtesy Flickr user jphilipg, via CC
Grab some tissues. Here’s a heartwarming story of neighbors coming together for a young girl, as told by CBS Sunday Morning: On Islington Road in Newton, Mass., lives two-year-old Samantha Savitz, who is deaf, but boy, does she love to talk to anyone who knows sign language. And if someone doesn’t, that makes Sam just […]
Two villages either side of the Apurimac River in Peru must rebuild the rope bridge linking their communities every year. You wonder: why don’t they build a modern one that lasts? Then you watch the video and you know why.
Wildly-popular card game Android: Netrunner has an exceptionally diverse and inviting lore and universe, but its community of players still has to push back against the social stereotypes of the traditional card game scene. Here’s how they’re doing it.
When it comes to large computer systems, not one of them is fully secure. Even with constant updates to the platforms that keep vital networks humming, there’s always a back door. And companies are willing to pay handsomely to effective bouncers that can keep an eye on them. Call them ethical hackers or white hat […]
So you’ve visited the Kennedy Space Center every year. You’ve watched “The Right Stuff” for the 95th time. There must be something to do while you’re waiting to join Space Force for the next manned mission to Mars or the moon. Here’s a combo that should raise a salute from any fan of space or […]
Looking for a new tablet? If you haven’t upgraded in a while, it might be time to check out the latest iPad Pro for two very good reasons. First, the 2018 model is a real workhorse. The 12X Bionic chip processor means it can handle any task you set out for it, and still have […]