Coffee And Its Effects On The World 's Most Widely Consumed Beverages And One Of The Globe

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Coffee is one of the world’s most widely consumed beverages and one of the globe’s most internationally traded commodities, prized highly as much for its pharmacological effects such as a useful source of caffeine as well as for it sociological role amongst consumers (Topik, 2009: 81). And yet historically coffee consumption never really grasped a strong role within Asian geographies, a region of the world highly dominated by tea as the go-to-beverage historically and socially. Thus it makes the case of South Korea extremely unique in that it is one of the only Asiatic nations in recent history where cups of coffee are now more popular than cups of tea (Griggs, 2002: 284). Today South Korea stands as the 13th largest importer of coffee in…show more content…
By tracing the history of coffee in Korea as well as the current forms of its consumption today, this paper intends to explore Coffee was first introduced to Korea roughly a little over 110 years ago. Yet its introduction was by no means captivating in what was primarily a tea consuming society at the time. The very first Korean individual prominently known to consume coffee on a regular basis was Emperor Gojong (reigned from 1873-1907); supposedly acquiring a preference for the beverage during his exile at the Russian embassy in Seoul. Indeed it was during his reign and with his direct assistance that the very first coffee shop within the country was opened, exclusively serving a clientele of upper class Koreans (Bak, 2005: 41). Even during the Japanese colonial period its penetration within Korean society was by no means widespread and it continued to be consumed by a specific clientele, namely artists and intellectuals in “Japanese style kkikdajeom (tea houses)” (Bak, 2005: 42) or in dabang (coffeehouses). Yet despite its limited circulation, even in the colonial time period, the act of drinking coffee had come to serve a unique social purpose. The intellectuals and elites of colonial Korean society would regularly convene within the interiors of kkikdajeom and dabang to carry out engaging social and political debates. Today’s modern day society almost ascribes a revolutionary symbolism to coffee
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