Session's title: Coffee, Culture and Technology - National Styles for Enjoying a Brown Brew

Timo Myllyntaus's picture
Call for Papers
July 13, 2020 to July 18, 2020
Subject Fields: 
Economic History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies, History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, Social History / Studies

47th ICOHTEC Symposium

Eindhoven University of Technology (TU /e)

The Netherlands, 13-18 July 2020



Call for Papers



Coffee, Culture and Technology:

National Styles for Enjoying a Brown Brew


The deadline extended to 10 March 2020


This is an invitation to submit paper proposals dealing with relations of culture and technology in developing distinctive national or regional coffee cultures during the past four hundred years.


Tentative Session Abstract

There are several kinds of coffee beans, but the variety of methods on how to make drinks from these beans is considerably more numerous. Different cultures prefer to drink dissimilar coffees. Social culture is not the only cause of the differences in the consumption of coffee. Nations tend to use multiple and dissimilar technologies for roasting, grinding, brewing, serving and drinking coffee. This session will search for explanations of why nations and cultures have put so much effort to develop such a wide variety of technologies and practices to make coffee.  In this respect, coffee is unique among beverages.

                      How has technology influenced coffee cultures? Or have cultures demanded or prioritised particular technological choices? Coffee tends to taste dissimilar in different countries, although it has been made quite similar beans. Food and social cultures affect drinking habits, of course. However, it seems to be enigmatic that coffee is more acclimatised and assimilated to national social habits than other drinks.

                      The papers of the session examine some case studies how national or regional techno­logies for roasting, grinding, and brewing coffee have developed in history. Pre­viously all these phases of making coffee were hand-made – mainly at home – before they were commercialised and industrialised. Nevertheless, the modernisation and introducing mass-production have not levelled out cultural differences. Although the machines for roasting, grinding and brewing may be quite similar, the tastes of coffees differ from country to country and from culture to culture.


Delivery of the Paper Proposal

If you want to participate in this session proposal, work out an abstract (max. 300 words) and one-page bio/cv. Please, send your abstract and bio/cv by Tuesday 10 February 2020 to the session convener Timo Myllyntaus ( as a file attachment in a doc/docx or rtf format.


You find further information on the symposium and instructions for preparing a proposal via the link:

Contact Info: 

Timo Myllyntaus

University of Turku


Contact Email: