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Part I - Journey To India . Part II - The Obsession . Part III - The Holy Drink . Part IV - The Coffee Houses . Part V - Coffee & Sex

Coffee History

 
Part IV-- The Coffee Houses
By the 13th Century Arabian coffee houses serving the drink had become very popular...
Coffee Houses known as Kaveh Kanes initially popped up in Mecca. Originally religious in purpose, the houses began allowing chess & backgammon playing, as well as harboring secular & politically natured conversations.

With all this free thinking taking place, dancing & all types of debauchery soon followed! Coffee houses quickly gained popularity and traveled to many parts of the region including Cairo and Aden.

As coffee made it's way to Constantinople (Turkey) by way of conquest, it caught on quickly. Coffee Houses in Turkey first showed up in 1554 and once again they became meeting places for business and pleasure. Coffee soon became taxed.

In 1615, the first shipment of coffee arrived in Europe at Venice from Turkey. Coffee houses quickly spread through Italy and Vienna, and soon most of Europe.

When Venetian Traders brought Coffee to Europe in 1615 some members of the Church in Italy considered it the Devil's work, but after Pope Clement VIII tasted it, he baptized it to make it a "True Christian Drink". Sold by lemonade vendors, coffee was initially considered and sold as an expensive medicinal beverage.

The first recorded reference to coffee in England was in 1637 when a Turk named Jacob opened a coffee house in Oxford. In 1672 the first coffee shop opened in Paris. The first Venetian coffee house, Bottega Del Caffé, was opened in 1683. One of the most famous and expensive of the coffee houses is Café Florian, opened in 1720.

Coffee houses popped up all over Italy and Europe with the first London coffee house opening in 1652. The most famous of these is Mol's Coffee House in Exeter, Devon where Sir Walter Raleigh used to be a regular. Another Coffee house from London was owned by an Edward Lloyd in 1688 and as a part of the extended menu offerings, he'd prepare lists of ships his customers had insured. Lloyd's ended up becoming the largest insurance house in the world.

As coffee houses made their way to America in the early 1700's, New York and other important towns like Boston introduced the popular institution. Some of the oldest coffee houses are: London Coffee House, Gutteridge Coffee House and the infamous Green Dragon establishment where the Boston Tea Party was planned.

The main difference between European coffee houses of old and American ones of that time is that radical elements flourished in the European houses and conservative elements thrived in American ones.

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