According to the newspapers here in Iceland, the Costa Cafe chain is planing to open up one or more places in Reykjavik and possibly in other locations in Iceland in the near future. They are currently searching for a spot in downtown Reykjavik. As someone who is interested in the local coffee scene I am not a bit torn about my feelings towards this. This means that Reykjavik is evolving and turning into a rather small, but big city. International coffee chains and fast food restaurants are a part of the Globalisation of our modern times, and the inevitable influx of tourists flocking to Reykjavik in their thousands.
This creates a dilemma for me and others probably. Many people love their Starbucks and Costa Cafe trips. They are a symbol of a grown city and to be seen there means that you are hip and cool in your own mind. We here have our own chains like Te & Kaffi and Kaffi Tár. They tend to be based on Starbucks and Costa cafe, like all commercial chain coffee houses, they tend to look similar, with similar products and vibe. That is just the nature of the business I guess. The dilemma is this; well Icelanders welcome those places or prefer our local coffee house chains. I guess the local places will have to step up their game to make it in the competition with a foreign giant. The tourists will love it most likely.
The impact on the coffee scene can be good, it offers more choice, more familiarity and hopefully a better standards in coffee making.
The local chains and the independent coffee houses are on the increase, but with mass tourism comes a price. The quality goes down. Even my beloved downtown local spot is having trouble keeping the standards up, and their once great coffee is now a thing of the past. The cup is ok, but not great. The tourist only comes once or twice for a decent cup, but the locals come again and again but the great cup is getting more and more difficult to find. Maybe Costa Cafe will inspire the small places to step up their game as well. Those local small coffee houses are the backbone of a great city vibe. We can only hope that the international chain can bring some positive effects on the local coffee scene.