Sunday, June 8, 2014

The price of tea in China …

… is only marginally less gripping a topic for me, than the price of coffee in America.   True, I do quaff a fair amount of the stuff, in the course of duty,  Saving American Lives by day, and reading deeply in Dickens by night.  But I stay away from pricey Starbucks, and grind my own from bags bought in a buyer’s market and stored in the freezer till needed;  so if the consumer price of whole beans were to bump up a bit, I would muddle through.   Still, it was startling to learn, this morning from NPR, not that the price has recently risen (it rises, it falls, it rises, it falls, world without end, like the billows of the deep blue sea) but that a ten-percent uptick was being imposed … by Kraft !
Kraft and coffee ?!?  [Page-editor:  Insert incredulous emoticons here.]  Branding problem here, yo.   For anyone who grew up under Eisenhower, the name Kraft has a fixed association with “bad cheese”.   For the convenience of millennials, who may be unfamiliar with this equation, we may summarize it in a simple formula:

bad cheese  <==> Kraft

(The mapping is a bijection, and can be read from right to left, or left to right.)

Now, with all the snooty pricey hoity-toity lifted-pinky caffe-latte emporia  pestilentializing the land,  and the growing ethic  not only of grind-your-own, but roast-your-own (my workmate/podmate, guided by his ex-barista offspring, last weekend filled his kitchen with the stench of the stuff), it is actually reassuring to hear that there are still some folks (mostly farmers, one supposes) who are content to source their morning coffee from Kraft.   That sort of brew goes very well with stacks of pancakes, I understand.
But what tipped it into the realm of near science-fiction -- a time-travel fantasy -- was the rider that Kraft would not be applying the 10% rise, to its … instant !!
Instantcoffee … That is almost nostalgic -- meta-retro -- like Tang.  (Of course, Tang was never any good either.)

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