While I was reading West this morning, this ad popped in my inbox with this tag line: "exotic, rare and exquisite"...
Tiffany
2/22/2013 20:02:10

"elegant interplay of maple and butterscotch with woodsy evergreen notes"... Okay, I'll just state for the record that I am not a coffee drinker. Usually any smell of coffee makes me wrinkle my nose in distaste, and tasting it get A Face. But with a description like that, even I'd be willing to give it a go. It sounds like a wine description. The word "haughty" comes to mind.

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Tiffany
2/22/2013 20:17:05

Not that I can get anywhere near the "elegant" wines or anything. lol

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Somava
2/23/2013 00:31:56

Reminds me of Tsing. I wonder what she would have said about scales considering facts such as the discovery of the island by Portugese sailors, coffee grown by six small holder farms, and the farms collaboration with private exporter and the Indonesian cocoa and coffee research institute.

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Tiffany
2/23/2013 15:50:12

As I don't drink coffee, I also don't smoke cigars. However, that doesn't stop me from reading Stogie Review, mainly for the reviews written by Brian Hewitt (a friend of mine from high school). His reviews remind me somewhat of the descriptions of these specialty coffees. Here's an example, the Reinado Grand Empire Reserve (http://www.stogiereview.com/2012/12/12/reinado-grand-empire-reserve-elegidos/). Each review has pictures and such, including Brian's "trademark Tower of Burn."

Again, I know nothing about the cigar business. And I don't smoke. But reading the marketing for these cigars seems to use many of the same descriptive elements (and definitely has a similar technique with imagery) as the specialty coffees. A market for the exotic, indeed.

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Jen
2/24/2013 20:14:24

Yeah - just finished reading West's book and was reminded of a chocolate "salon" that I attended a few years ago. There were many booths selling chocolate products made with fair trade cacao from South America or West Africa. These vendors had elaborate visual set-ups that marketed their fair trade chocolates through the dual image of cacao producers as primitive and impoverished. Coffee is for sure not the only commodity that is circulated and marketed using these narratives.

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