Two idle caffeine observations from Oslo

I’ve seen a couple of interesting caffeine related things in Oslo so far… in between trying to find a beer that costs less than the monthly financing on a brand new family saloon car, that is.

Firstly, good news; the Norwegians seem to take their coffee very seriously.  

There’s one of coffee chain in particular, Kaffebrenneriet, that’s simply superb… there’s about 18 branches across Oslo.  Imagine Monmouth Coffee in London as a city wide chain as prevalent as Starbucks.  Yes, I know, how wonderful would that be?

Anyway, there isn’t a Starbucks over here.  It’s no wonder really.



Secondly, the slightly troubling news; a sight I never thought I’d see again… cans of the energy drink Battery


You’ve never heard of it, have you?  And neither should you have.  Way back in the mists of time (well, the year 2000), the market research agency I was a grad in was hired to test out Battery in the UK market.  

Which meant we did lots of blind taste tests in the upstairs of pubs and the like.  And by and large, everyone hated it.  It really was pretty fierce stuff.  Invented in Finland to make the homebrew vodka taste posh and sophisticated or something.

They’d sent us crates and crates of the stuff, which we didn’t get through at the hall tests (nobody wanted to take it away).  We offered to send it back, but it would cost too much in shipping, apparently.  So for six months, we got wired on the stuff.  

I drank five in one afternoon once.  I didn’t sleep for three days.

So as far as I know, it has never gained a foothold in the UK.  But it seems that other markets have taken to it…


Who’d try and build a global brand, eh?

Anyway, between the Norwegians very much want to stay awake it seems.  

I’ve bought some of the coffee to bring home.  The cans of Battery can stay right here, thank you very much…