Café in small towns: A picture of the weakening social engagement
Small towns in developing countries are grappling with the evolving global-brand and modern coffee shops (cafés) that have driven out the traditional coffee shop. New cafés have also encouraged a global coffee culture with its uniformity of coffee presentation and quality standard. Taking Indonesia as a case study, this study analyses the changing of coffee culture from the perspective of coffee shops culture in small towns of the developing country. In small towns and rural areas, coffee shops served not only as community meeting spots but also as centers of information and resource exchanges. Coffee shop helped to mediate people’s social interactions. Newly arrived café leaves the social dimension of the traditional coffee shop with the limited interaction among its patrons. Café becomes a mere economic establishment and a token of modern lifestyle. By using qualitative research with descriptive methodology and quantitative research (survey) as the baseline, the study reveals that even though the cafés improve the economy, the change reflects the changing of civic-bond in the society. It concludes that the changing of coffee consumption in rural Indonesia may not only signing the arrival of a globalised coffee culture but also, signing the change of social engagement of the society
Key words: Coffee for health; coffee culture; globalization; social engagement.
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