Coffee in Taiwan

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Our final presentation for Cultural Ethnic Structure of Taiwan, National Chengchi University, Fall 2009

Our final presentation for Cultural Ethnic Structure of Taiwan, National Chengchi University, Fall 2009

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  • Japanese Coffeehouses (kissaten) were located in the Sakaemachi (around today’s HengYang Road) -Chung Yang Restaurant, Parma Café, Dalichi Eiraku Taiwanese Coffeehouses located mostly in Dadocheng District (around today’s DiHua Street) -Werther, Tianma Teahouse Bolero
  • Bolero 1934 Tianma Teahouse Astoria Café 1949 Fong Da Coffee 1956 Bar-Den
  • Viable? How prosperous is it? => See recent article


  • 1. The Origins and Cultural Development of Coffee in Taiwan: Coffee Cultivation, the “Coffeehouse,” and the Development of a Coffee Culture By: Virginia Shaffer and Danielle Sleeper
  • 2. Coffee Beginnings in Taiwan  Gukeng Province: Dutch Colonization 1624  Later revived by the Japanese in 1895  Coffee Era ended in 1949 by Koumintang  Replaced with Betel Nut and Fruit Tree Crops  Emergence of Oolong in 1970’s  Coffee revitalization in the 1990’s  Both Coffeehouse and Cultivation
  • 3. Coffee Origins and Development Japanese Coffeehouses カフエー (kissaten)  Opulent lounges with well-to-do clientele and staffed by jyokyuu Taiwanese Coffeehouses  Emerged in the 1920s  A place for wealthy Taiwanese college grads, literati--dramatists, singers, musicians and artists  Safe houses for those opposed to Japanese rule Coffee Shops for the Laobaixing  “Serve delicious coffee at a reasonable price”  Individual shops dominated 1970s  Arrival of coffee chains in 1990s
  • 4. Coffee is a way of life.  Shifted food habits and changed the Taiwanese breakfast meal
  • 5. Taiwan’s Unique Coffee Bean and Innovative Techniques -Quality vs. Quantity: Taiwan ranks among the first class coffee qualities of the world -Climate Advantages -Yunlin, Gukeng and the Formosan Rock Monkey Sweeter Coffee with bold vanilla scent @ USD$56.00 per pound -Cultural Innovation: 85C’s Sea Salt Coffee: 2009’s Best Seller Future Forecasts: Adding Cheese and Crushed Fruit Using alternative energy to brew coffee – a REAL Cup of Joe! -Specialty Comes with a Price: NT$120 (US$3.70) a cup to NT$200 (US$6.15)
  • 6. Coffee vs. Tea in the Modern World  Is Coffee Intrusive to the Taiwan Tea Market?  The market prices of tea leaves have been dropping under the impact of cheaper imports, following Taiwan's entry into the World Trade Organization in January 2002.  Oolong Tea farmers are switching to coffee bean cultivation  Coffee beans can potentially earn triple the revenues yielded from tea  Agro-tourism in coffee cultivating towns boosts the revenues for the community
  • 7. Coffee’s Role in the Agro-tourism Industry Positives: •Taiwan Coffee Festival, launched October 2008 •Gukeng listed in “Top Rural Villages to See” in Taiwan •The Taiwan Experience in the Coffee Homeland •Negatives: •Marketing Problems •High Price: •Price gap in part to Taiwan’s high labor costs •Taiwanese Taste Preference
  • 8. International Competition of both the Coffee House and Coffee Bean  The Coffee House:  Currently there are over 12,000 Coffeehouses in Taiwan: (Chains, Franchises, Privately Owned)  Starbucks entered Taiwan in 1998 : 168 Locations  85C still remains as Taiwan’s biggest Coffeehouse chain  However, coffee is imported from Guatemala  The Coffee Bean:  Taiwan's diplomatic allies:  Honduras, El Salvador, Panama, Nicaragua, G uatemala and Belize  Importing coffee beans from South America is still cheaper than domestic coffee beans.
  • 9. Present-Day Coffee Culture -The “Western” Coffee Shop Trend fully began in the 1990’s -“New” & “Fashionable”: A Social Change Who Drives Demand: Businessmen and women, students, the young generation -Coffee Market Competition Attractiveness to Entrepreneurs -Wireless Internet
  • 10. Discussion Topics:  Is a coffee culture new to a Taiwanese Society or is it being revived?  Is it possible that this is a hybrid of both old and new tradition?  Do you foresee the addition of coffee tourism in rural villages as a positive way to help communities? Do you foresee any negative aspects to this social movement?