Friday, May 19, 2006

Coffee's bitter tang rules the new China.

The West Australian reported this week the impact of multinational coffee companies like Starbucks and Bookworm are having on traditional Chinese culture. Tea and it's associated rituals have been part of Chinese culture for centuries.

Six years ago Starbucks ventured into China and opened 230 branches across the country and plans to open 10 000 over the next few years. This has resulted in some traditional tea drinkers turning to coffee even though many don't like the taste. Coffee has become a status symbol of the middle class with one cup costing $5 the daily wage of the lowest paid workers. The Ministry of Labour has declared a skill shortage in the industry.

The West Australian


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