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Recalling the Celtic Tiger

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Edited By Eamon Maher, Eugene O'Brien and Brian Lucey

This book looks at various effects, symptoms and consequences of the period in Irish culture known as the Celtic Tiger. It will trace the critical pathway from boom to bust – and up to the current beginnings of a similar, smaller boom – through events, personalities and products. The short entries offer a sense of the lived experience of this seismic period in contemporary Irish society.

While clearly not all aspects of the period could realistically be covered, the book does contain essential information about the central actors, events, themes, and economic trends, which are discussed in a readable and accessible manner. Each entry is linked to the overall Celtic Tiger phenomenon and its immediate aftermath.

The book also provides a comprehensive account of what happened in this period and will be a factual resource for anyone anxious to discover information on the areas most commonly connected to it. All entries are written by experts in the area. The contributors include broadcasters, economists, cultural theorists, sociologists, literary critics, journalists, politicians and writers, each of whom brings particular insights to some aspect of the Celtic Tiger.

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Coffee Culture (Brian Murphy)

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Brian Murphy

Coffee Culture

Much of the human experience revolves around our personal engagement with the nourishment we consume. And just like food, the beverages we drink can often act as key signifiers in social exchanges. Coffee is one drink that has the potential to convey a message about who we are or how we might like to be seen, and Ireland’s relationship with coffee culture is a relatively new one. In a pre-Celtic Tiger era, our coffee often came from a jar, or sometimes from a filter pot during the rare visit to a local hotel or restaurant. The main bastion of Ireland’s drink culture, the pub, was focused on the sale of alcohol rather than coffee. Words like ‘cappuccino’ and ‘macchiato’ were not yet considered part of common parlance.

Things changed quite dramatically in the early 2000s, and we can now point to a number of identifiable phases in Ireland’s coffee culture. The first coffee phase began in the early Celtic Tiger years when domestic coffee chains began making their first forays into the Irish market. Companies like Insomnia, which opened its first store in 1997, and Cafe Sol, which was formed in 1998, joined existing market players like O’Brien’s, and began to capitalise on an emerging culture that was associating coffee drinking with affluence. Ireland’s demographic landscape also changed as a returning emigrant class brought home with them a taste for drinks other than those of their youth. Increased travel opportunities...

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