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Why were coffee houses so popular in the late seventeeth century and early eighteenth century in london - Essay Example

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Coffee houses in the late seventeenth century and early eighteenth century London

Coffee, a popular beverage in the modern times, first came into vogue as a drink in the mid –fifteenth century, when it spread around the Red Sea basin area. …
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Why were coffee houses so popular in the late seventeeth century and early eighteenth century in london
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Download file to see previous pages Coffee first became popular in the Ottoman Empire during the sixteenth century, and in one report, we find the well-known Ottoman chronicler Ibrahim Pecevi chronicling the opening of the first coffeehouses in the Ottoman Empire (in Istanbul) in the sixteenth century. Here he states, “Until the year 962 [1555], in the High, God-Guarded city of Constantinople, as well as in Ottoman lands generally, coffee and coffee-houses did not exist. About that year, a fellow called Hakam from Aleppo and a wag called Shams from Damascus came to the city; they each opened a large shop in the district called Tahtakale, and began to purvey coffee” (cited in Bernard, 1989, 132). It was in the 17th century that coffee spread to Europe from the Ottoman Empire (via Hungary), and soon coffeehouses became a part of the popular western culture (Wild, 2005). English coffeehouses first came into existence during the mid-seventeenth century when in Oxford in 1652 in a building that is now better known as "The Grand Cafe" (ibid). Pasqua Rosee, who was a servant in the service of a merchant named Daniel Edwards, opened the first coffeehouse in London in 1652, in St Michael's Alley in Cornhill, and soon they became extremely popular as social meeting places, and by 1675 England had more than 3,000 coffeehouses (Weinberg, and Bealer, 2002, 152). Discussion English coffee houses: The English coffeehouses, during the early modernism of the 17th and 18th centuries, are often referred to as public social houses where the people from different social walks of life, would gather for drinking the new beverage while socially interacting. These coffeehouses also served chocolate and tea along with coffee, and these places soon acquired a very distinct character that distinguished it from another popular establishment of the era, the taverns. The taverns were legally obliged to keep provisions for drinks, food, and lodging for the passing traveller; and formed centres of hard drinking and gambling. Coffeehouses, served non-alcoholic drinks allow any form of gambling and alcohol consumption, and were known as ‘genteel’ places for sober social interactions, unlike other public social houses of that time (Hewitt, 1872). Cowan in his book describes a typical 17th-18th century English coffeehouse as "places where people gathered to drink coffee, learn the news of the day, and perhaps to meet with other local residents and discuss matters of mutual concern” (Cowan, 2005, 79). Right from the time of initiation, the English coffeehouses formed a dominion for intellectual gatherings, while political groups also frequented the various English coffeehouses for conducting meetings (ibid). There a diverse range of patrons that were seen in the English coffeehouses, and represented a wide range of the divergent English social classes, and there was a sense of equality amongst these customers where one could freely take part in any ongoing conversation irrespective of one’s social rank or political beliefs. Topics deliberated on in these coffeehouses were mainly related to philosophical debates, politics, society gossip, current events, and natural sciences. It is often for this reason that the 17th and 18th century English coffeehouses were referred by the historians to be the epicentres of the Enlightenment era that brought in cultural and intellectual reawakening, widely seen at this time (Cowan, 2005). English coffeehous ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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