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Sunday, November 09, 2008

A cafe chain you probably won't be seeing in America

If you are looking for a coffee in Shanghai you can go to one of the many international cafe chains, like Starbucks, or you could go to the Taiwanese cafe chain ecoffee.

ecoffee store
ecoffee store

I thought it was a starbucks when I first saw the shop from afar. Starbucks thinks so as well, and has filed a complaint over the matter. Here are the logos of ecoffee and Starbucks.

ecoffee and Starbucks logo

Like any good knock off, the coffee at ecoffee is much cheaper than at the original. A Tall Cafe Latte at Starbucks costs 25 RMB (about 3.67 USD). The same sized Cafe Latte at ecoffee costs 15 RMB (about 2.20 USD).

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Coffee of the Day - Lamai Beach

Location: Koh Samui - Thailand Date: 21 Feb 2008

Coffee - Lamai Beach
Coffee - Lamai Beach, Koh Samui

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

A night in Amsterdam

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Cafe Westend Vienna

Cafe Westend Vienna
Cafe Westend Vienna

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Friday, March 09, 2007

Coffee and Net Cafes in India

Cafe Coffee Day and iway internet cafes are two Indian franchises that seem have taken off as I have seen them everywhere so far.

Coffee Day and iway
Coffee Day and iway - Benaulim

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Starbucks Beach Shack

Somehow I don't think this one is part of the Seattle based chain.

Starbucks Beach Shack
Starbucks Beach Shack - Baga Goa

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Saturday, September 09, 2006

European train station cafes

One of the many things that makes train travel in Europe such a civilised and viable option is the train station cafeteria. Jerez de la Frontera, for example, isn't a primary rail station but its cafe is nice enough to not mind having to wait half an hour until your train arrives.

Jerez Train Station Cafeteria
Jerez Train Station Cafeteria

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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Espressamente - A real Italian coffee chain

I had read this article in Business Week about Illycaffè and how they are opening a chain of cafes called Espressamente. I am all for the espresso, so I support this concept. I saw this Espressamente at Budapest Airport.

Espressamente Budapest Airport
Espressamente Budapest Airport

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Espresso - Budapest

Espresso - Budapest Hungary

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Sunday, August 06, 2006

London coffee shops - What could have been.

I love London and I consider it my second home, so it pains me to tell you that it has a terrible cafe scene. Britain is well regarded for its cozy pubs with its polished brass and potted flowers. Probably the most endearing feature of British pubs though are their names and accompanying sign boards. This is a feature which goes back to 1393, when Richard II made it compulsory for every inn in England to display a sign. Examples of which can be found at The Inn Sign Society.

The British pub scene left no room for a cafe society like on the continent. Up until the 1990's getting a coffee in Britain usually meant instant coffee in a greasy spoon diner.

Lack of cafes in Britain meant that when coffee became fashionable in the early days of New Labour, there was no resistance to the onslaught of the American style coffee franchises. Just about every British High St now has a Starbucks, Cafe Nero, Costa or Coffee Republic. Big High Streets will have all of the franchises. Really big High Streets (like Oxford St London) will have a all of the francises two or three times over. Small independents are few and far between.

I was pondering all this while walking through Regents Park in London. In the park there is a cafe in what was probably a gatehouse. This hole in the wall sized coffee shop is called the Cow and Coffee Bean. It has a great sign out the front that Richard II would have approved of. This sign made me think of would could have been here if cafes developed along the same path as the pubs.

Cow And Coffee Bean Regents Park
Cow And Coffee Bean Regents Park

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Monday, October 24, 2005

City of Joyce - Trieste

Monday, August 29, 2005

Bratislava Cafe

Bratislava Cafe

One of the great pleasures in life - sitting at a cafe in an old town square somewhere in Europe.

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Friday, August 26, 2005

Cafe Hawelka - Vienna

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Friends of Bewleys unite!

I lived in Dublin for a year and more than one person remarked what an odd place to live for someone who doesn't drink. I'm the only Australian I know of who spent a year in Ireland without the black goop passing my lips.

I did frequent the pubs in Dublin for the craic, but to write notes and read books and newspapers you can't beat going to a cafe. There is a good collection of independent cafes in Dublin and in my time there Starbucks had not landed in Ireland. One of Dublin's oldest established cafes is Bewleys. Their flagship store in Grafton street is a classic link to a bygone era with its stain glass windows and cafeteria style dining.

This store is now threatened with closure and in this Starbuckafied world the closure of Bewleys would be a great loss to Dublin.

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