I do sometimes wonder just how Ladybird decided which books to put in some of their series – in particular the Ladybird Leader series (737). Whilst they’re all subjects where there is plenty to learn about, the list can seem a bit random when you first read it. From water to bridges, apes and monkeys to fruit, and deserts to coffee.
Coffee is obviously a huge commodity in the world today and if anything the way people drink coffee has changed even more since 1977 when this book was first published. Now there are coffee shops every few meters (well in St Albans there certainly are) and it’s slightly crazy to think just how widely available a hot cut of coffee is in today’s world.
What is quite fascinating about this Ladybird book is how it appears to have been written in conjunction with Nestle. There is a small acknowledgement at the start about how Nestle Company Ltd have helped with the preparation of this book, but then when you look at some of the pictures you realise that whilst they may have helped, they certainly received a lot of product placement in return!
Not only is there a selection of Nestle branded instant coffee for sale in a shop, but a jar of Nescafe is also being used in some baking on the facing page.
Coffee covers the history of coffee drinking around the world, and covers the early coffee plantations in Brazil, and also how Americans started to drink coffee after the Boston Tea Party as it was then cheaper than tea. How coffee beans are extracted is detailed along with the route that the beans take to get to market.
It’s certainly an interesting read about our daily caffeine hit, but when it talks about vending machines are available at train stations, hospitals and other places where people need be able to get a drink you realise just how much things have changed. You hardly see machines vending coffee any more – certainly every train station or hospital I’ve been to recently has had its own high street coffee shop franchise inside instead!
If you have a collection of old Ladybird books then please feel free to join in with Ladybird Tuesday. There are no formal rules to follow, just leave a link to any post you write in the comments below and if you’re feeling kind link back to my Ladybird Tuesday index page here on Being Mrs C. Thanks!