Café trend & Cultural DiffusionApril 4, 2019
“If time flies too fast, then visit a Café.”
Numerous factors affect and shape people’s lifestyle and do so media. Up to date, we cannot deny that human in the modernization area is more likely to live in such a rush, we have to be fast and certain to survive; wake up for chasing to get ourselves in public transportation, deals with traffic jam and more. Each lifestyle bounds together to create the culture and its social lifestyle which truly make our life somehow become tense. So then, the chilling space called ‘Café’ does exist.
The place where people can give themselves a slow life vibe, giving themselves a break from being rush with good music, spending time on being with themselves with their most favorite book, especially tasting all kind of good food and sipping a unique drinks. Moreover, some people seek café to be the place where they can explore themselves, gain an inspiration and potentials in work field, and even a positive vibes preventing themselves from stressful environment. Plus, some café can be the place where they can spend time with their favorite people, a little chit chat and take photos to post and share their coolness on social media, including live-streams. Those various reasons cause café to become a trend in our daily life. Most of the place where we go, at least one café always appears with its own unique style of the spread which can be explained by Cultural diffusion immediately.
What is Cultural diffusion?
Cultural diffusion is the spread of the beliefs and social activities of one culture to different ethnicities, religions, nationalities, or in another word, across location. Which it does divided into 4 different theories; contagious diffusion, hierarchical diffusion, stimulus diffusion and relocation diffusion.
♡ Café and Food Fever
Have you ever wondered why many food trends occur at café? And how does it rapidly distribute to the market in a very moment?
In Thailand, these following lists are popular ingredients for food and drink:
Boba Bubble Tea.
And Now… Salted Egg!
Those food trends are widespread just like ‘Virus’. If you can remember… the very first coming of ‘Boba’ trend in Thailand, you will notice that, in a certain time, Boba bubble stores pop up in every corner of the street in which such ingredient is adapted in every recipe until now, not only a part of bubble milk tea, but also shaved ice, toasts, or even main dishes.
Now, it is a turn for ‘Salted egg’.
This viral trend in food and drink industry can be explained as a ‘Contagious Diffusion’.
A Contagious diffusion is when one thing spreads out from one person who transmits it to multiple people, and it becomes viral. For instance, Thailand’s food trend is recently a ‘salted Egg’ fever thanks to the media, ever since the salted eggs have been included in most drinks and dessert recipes of café.
Chewit Cheeva, a well-known café located in Siam Square, introduces their dessert dish, shaved ice with salted egg, which becomes popular because online users post and share Instagram stories and other social media channels. As well as Kamu, again another famous bubble tea store launches the newest Boba tea mixing with salted egg to the market and obviously drives the demand of consumers to try out.
When one thing becomes a trend, then why does it become viral around the corner?
Recall your memory back in time when Thai society is full of…
Differently, a normal café is where people pay for beverage and food, but here is for cats! That’s why people usually call it a ‘cat therapy’.
Well, not only Thai society, but many societies across the world have this viral distribution. It occurs and spreads so fast; consequently, we see it widely through the street or even our smartphones although it doesn’t initially originate in our country.
‘Hierarchical Diffusion’ is a theory that supports and explains the spread of cat cafés.
This kind of diffusion happens when the information is sent from the powerful or influential source to others vertically. For instance, the origin of Cat Café is from Taipei, Taiwan as ‘Cat Flower Garden’ especially available for cat people. Owing to modern media, people try to communicate and spread this place out to the world, and therefore evolve the idea to create such special cafés all over the place.
♡A café with cultural adaptation
I bet you guys ever notice how each café somehow has things in common. The interior design is one similarity we can observe like the Japanese style, Chinese style, British high fashion style, even Thai traditional style and more, which explain the cause where culture expands across place to places.
In the last decades, we can clearly see that K-pop or Korean fashion trends are in Thailand, which Korean café becomes a trend too. Various café’s entrepreneurs in Thailand derives interior design from Korean styles such as color and tone, food, and decoration. Stimulus diffusion theory itself explains how cultural trend stretches across places in which people change in order to adapt into daily life.
Cintage school, a cafe adopts the Stimulus diffusion. The café is easy to spot with a pink building which stands out from other nearby buildings. When you first step inside the café, you will definitely feel that you are not in Thailand any more, but Korea; due to the shop design. The most famous menu in the café is ‘Oreo Mintchip,’ as the drink itself, the blue mint, suits with the interior design of the shop, and therefore looks good for snapping a picture.
How can it link to the theory of Stimulus diffusion? Firstly, when the shop started, it distributed only the clothes as Korea fashion becomes such a trend. After a bunch of times, the shop adapted the idea from the trend that cafés are becoming very popular in Thailand, which in that time a number of café in Thailand increase. Therefore, Cintage then add the ideas of café inside their cloth store. Which the feedback from the customer are able to considered as a successful ideas, due to the number of customer visited. The Café itself, is located at the 3rd floor of the building. While the 1st and 2nd floor are the cloth store, moreover, the shop also does adapt the idea of nail painting into the café too. As a lot of Thai teenagers love to get the nail manicure.
♡It’s Fusion Food!
Speaking of culture, let’s look back once Westerners first visited Thailand and introduced the civilisation into Thai lifestyle. There comes a cultural relocation diffusion, particularly the spread of foreign cuisine through them as ‘Farang’ from their stoves to Thai kitchen. In Thailand, the common western menu would be a global food like Pizza because Italians primarily influences in Thais’ taste in favour of cheese and sauce which is interestingly special in the traditional dishes. To get outside the box, the flavours of Thailand is the world-famous for our mouthwatering cuisine like green curry or ‘Gaeng Keow Wan’ and possibly could diffuse with exotic recipe to eventually create ‘Fusion Food,’ another choice we can try out for the dining time!
Warning: This is food pictures area!
As observing the cafe culture in Thailand, Cafe Pla is quite a newbie but qualified hideaway located in the prime area at Siam Center M Floor. Cafe Pla is well known for its all-day creative dining cuisine as they arrange casual sets of food, modern and delicious under friendly environment and green area, gently organised in comforting design derived from Western, Eastern and Thai twist styles as well as the dishes such as Ka Prao Wagyu Hamburg on Rice (Fried Basil with Wagyu Hamburg represented as a culture diffusion between western and Thai food).
Apart from innovative and healthy recipes, Cafe Pla offers a promotion launched on the official Instagram, Facebook accounts and alternative platforms such as Wongnai. Cafe Pla is recommended in varying the genders, ages, and any number of people since they expand each unique food culture together with the others, both folk culture in flavours of ‘Floral Summer Rolls’(Vietnamese-style fresh rolls stuffed with grilled pork and edible butterfly peas) and pop cultures as we already mention the western cuisine.
All in all, in this post modern world, digital information moves quickly and unstoppably that lets media citizens be eager to both consume and generate the content by themselves within limited attention. Online platforms link every generation closer than before and consequently they have been living with it ever since and then portray each unique lifestyle in terms of society’s elements as culture to spread the fads and trends as a result. Cafe culture is most likely to adapt in Thailand thanks to the creativity in food and certainly cat therapy at chilling places and therefore becomes a continuous trend because Thais acquire media to promote the lifestyles in fields of these following cultural diffusions: a contagious diffusion, hierarchical diffusion, stimulus diffusion, and eventually relocation diffusion. The way media ownership present the fads and trends still needs to ask the target audience what they desire and attempt to keep it going viral in the future, perhaps the change in custom of life may occur in an unexpected adaptation of cultures
Images of Vintage school
Images of Cafe Pla from
Image of Salted egg bubble tea
Image of Cat Cafe