Coffee delivery or bust?
Luckin Coffee, a tale of product chasing an outsized goal.
Now for the taste test…
The aroma is: oak wood lumber, newly sawn. Too weird, never before have I smelled coffee that had that aroma.
The taste is…nothing. Just, literally, exactly: nothing. On the ‘cup half full’ side, it didn’t make me spit it up (remember Mulholland Drive?). However, how do we write home, write a review, or even casually talk among friends, about coffee that tastes like: nothing?
The color has some dusky brownness to it. The body is similarly thick, stewey. It’s moderately potent: somewhere between gas-station dishwater, and the bang-your-eyes-open power of an honest breakfast brew.
It has been said that Luckin reckons to take over China with this coffee. As has been said about certain California wines, that’s interesting in it’s presumption. The initial consideration would have to be the product presented. Were it a compelling product, they’d be in with a chance. If delivery were unique, they might have a distinguishing factor, however sustainable that might prove to be. In this case, delivery, even of a cup of joe, is old news. Then, the market peleesumption: that China is waiting, with baited breath, their cuppajoe.
Comparisons have been made to England, but one shakes their head with sorrow at the mistaken psychographics inherent therein. China, not England, not European, not Western, but Chinese consumers are the topic. In many conversations, in Chinese and English, it’s been confirmed that Chinese people, by and large, city and country, could not care less about tge non-issue of something foreigners drink. Chinese people drink tea, for the most part, and graduate to white spirits when tippling, and quite frankly don’t care whether foreign people like or dislike it. There are 1.4 Billion people in China, and they are nearly exclusively Chinese Asian people, making a market big enough that it need not care for outsiders. I’m afraid that coffee has been done, Starbucks got the big expansion, but it’s non-repeating history.