During the boom years of Cyprus all the major brand names and/or franchises such as Costa Coffee (UK), Starbucks (US), Flo Cafe (Greece), Gloria Jeans (Australia), Coffee Beanery (US), Segafredo (Italy), Illy (Italy), Caffe Nero (UK) and their many copies, actually convinced the population at large in Cyprus that a simple Coffee (however dressed) could or should cost as much as 5 euro. What's more astonishing, is that they got away with it for such a long time and Cypriots/Expats alike were literally hooked on a Coffee Budget of up to 10 euro per day!
They applied every trick in the book by confusing us with sizes, when small became > large, medium became > extra large (the unusual norm) and large turned into a well, soup bowl! Intense marketing, comfy sofas, wooden decking on the balcony, fancy umbrellas and fake claims of sustainability, all duped us into buying more Coffee than we really needed.
Then came the recession, which started to hit the peoples pocket in 2012 and then it exploded in 2013. Suddenly, even that overly sugary Frappuccino or luxury Frape was at risk of being cut from the dwindling expenses of the average Cypriot household.
The major franchises stuck with their unsustainable prices for as long as they could, to squeeze tevery last drop of money. Occasional special offers and discounts appeared on the market and the people kept drink Coffee to moan about the financial crisis.
Then enter the new wave of Coffee Houses, that understand all the people really wanted was a combination of a decent place to sit outside (perhaps to combine with smoking), quality coffee and a reasonable price, which is easy enough to deliver, as the mark ups are so huge!
All of a sudden here in Larnaca we saw even more trendy Cafe bars opening everywhere, from Ermou Square to Makarios Avenue and of course Finikoudes. Coffee Island (Greece) has already relatively recently opened 7 outlets in Larnaca alone (same as Limassol). In Nocosia they operate 15 outlets and it's easier to partner with them.
Coffee Island and to a lesser extent Lavazza have understood the pulse of the people by meeting the above mentioned criteria for a decent Coffee in a recession. Many other small individual Coffee businesses have also opened too and the market is going crazy at present (all be at lower prices) even in a recession, such is the love of the Coffee culture among all Cypriots.