The way that coffee is consumed has changed considerably over the last few decades. Soluble instant coffee became very popular in the 1960s in many homes. Then vending machines began to appear in stations, airports and the workplace. In the 1980s, fast food quickly became popular and a disposable cup of take-away coffee could be purchased anywhere. The ceremonial and convivial rituals that had long since accompanied this beverage gradually disappeared, replaced by individualistic, ‘on-the-go’ consumption of an everyday drink. At the same time, the threat of standardised, tasteless coffee emerged.
In response to consumer demand, adaptations were made to take cultural differences into account. In Denmark, for example, where people traditionally prefer light coffee, the first vending machines to be installed offered drinks made with soluble (instant) coffee. This did not go down too well in Italy, where the taste is for more full-flavoured coffee. Therefore, to take into account consumer preferences in southern European countries, manufacturers developed machines with an integrated grinder and percolator.