Sabine Parrish

Sabine Parrish

DPhil Student

St Peter's College

Thesis: Café Simples: The Creation of Specialty Coffee in São Paulo, Brazil

Research: Sabine’s research explores the social practices around specialty coffee drinking in Brazil, a hybrid coffee producer-consumer nation. Through fieldwork in homes and coffee shops in the city of São Paulo and on coffee farms in the southeast of Brazil, she is considering the ways in which narratives and experiences of specialty coffee consumption—which in contexts where coffee is not produced have historically drawn much of their meaning from coffee’s travel from its agricultural origin and subsequent exoticism—change when a global commodity is traded and consumed at a wholly local level.

Paired with a digital appendix of coffee stories and visuals, and drawing upon material anthropology and studies of the senses, this project builds upon discourses on commodity chains and luxury, adding to an understanding of how nations typically classed exclusively as producers of commodities are important and growing global consumers.

Sabine is on fieldwork in Brazil from June 2017 to September 2018, where she is a visiting researcher at the University of São Paulo.

Research interests: Material anthropology; sensory studies; gender; digital ethnography; food and beverage; economic anthropology; (eco)tourism.


Specialty Coffee Pilgrims: Consuming Production on ‘Origin Trips.’ Oxford Food Forum. April 2017.
Everyday Espresso, Competition Coffee. Wolfson College President’s Seminar. February 2015.
To See is to Know: Heterotopic Authenticity at Tillicum Village. European Conference on the Social Sciences. July 2014.


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