The trend globally and locally goes in two directions when it comes to coffee and coffee places. The small local cafe is on the rise, and should be taken with joy. On the other hand the franchise industry is on the rise too. We do not have Starbucks in Iceland, or Costa Cafe or Nero Cafe like they have in my old stomping grounds in England.
We do on the other hand have Dunkin Donuts and the plan is to open many more, but they are not trying to be a gourmet specialist coffee house, just a franchise that sells coffee and donuts.
We have our own franchise and coffee chains, like Te & Kaffi. That is not a bad thing, since Te & Kaffi offer some good coffee and and are getting closer to the Starbucks / Costa / Nero feel and looks. It seems clear that they have been abroad in order to learn and grow. The latest place in the Reykjavik shopping mall Kringlan is a prime example. That place looks stylish and more like the big global franchise coffee stores than it used to. Not trying to be a snob, I go there if I go to Kringlan and actually like it. I was not happy that I liked it but one cannot deny ones own feeling and prejudice. I have been a sucker for coffee conglomorates for years sad to say.
I wrote about a small coffee place a while back called Café Dix, and drove past it the other day and it is closed, but the sign said Te & Kaffi instead. They are getting more into the standard "know what you get" place than ever before. It is a positive thing, since it gives us consumers a certain standard instead of getting the unknown experience of the local coffee show. Sad to see the old place go, but it will be interesting to see how the changing environment in the coffee scene will be in the near future.
The only fear is that the more places of the same kind there are, the standards can slip.