• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Coffee

Few other commodities are so deeply entrenched with the history of consumer culture as coffee. In different societies and cultures, men and women have consistently constructed their class, gender, and ethnic identity around the ritual consumption of coffee. The intrinsic qualities of the product—the green bean from a plant of the Rubiaceae family, which is typically roasted, ground, and brewed into a dark drink—may well have something to do with it. The taste for coffee is ostensibly culturally acquired. Children dislike it, lab rats hate it, but millions of drinkers who have grown to love it cannot live without it. Coffee contains an active ingredient, caffeine, whose principal effect on the human body is to induce stimulation, alertness, and drive.

Along with other colonial commodities, such ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles