Everybody has one. Your favorite spot to socialize, to recharge or be super productive.
This is an ode to the coffee shop.
It can be a hole in the wall (shout out to the New Yorkers) or, if you’re lucky enough to live in Europe, a beautiful, spacious café. It is your happy place—your home outside of home.
The story of the coffee shop is as interesting as drinking coffee itself. It’s not a coincidence that there’s a term: “coffee culture.” It has been coined for centuries. Let’s appreciate this process for a moment, shall we? Here are some of the most interesting highlights:
1. It all began in Muslim culture between 1511 and 1524.
2. The very first cafe was opened in Damascus in 1530. It would have been similar to this:
3. It took exactly 99 years for a first coffee house in Europe to appear. It was in the beautiful city of Venice, thanks to a bustling business route between Europe and the Ottoman Empire.
4. But, as Europeans quickly realized the potential of coffee houses, they quickly spread all over the continent. Most of them were established by Armenians.
6. Women were not allowed to step in at that time, which lead to the “Women’s Petition Against Coffee” published in 1674.
8. England is also where tipping originated. A jar was placed on a counter reading “To Insure Prompt Service.”
9. Allegedly, some men were spending so much of their time in cafes, their mail was delivered there directly.
12. Few English and French cafes from that period still exist today.
13. In Vienna, Austria, a Polish man named Franz George Kolschitzky is said to be the first to set up a cafe. The story goes that he discovered green coffee beans left by the Turks that were surrounding Austria’s capital.
14. He was also the first one to serve coffee with milk.
15. America’s first coffee house was opened in Boston in 1676.
16. For New Yorkers, coffee houses were also places for court trials or council meetings.
17. During the 19th century, and reaching a peak between the 1st and 2nd world wars in the early 20th century, cafes were important meeting points for many political, literature or art groups.
18. Café, cafe or coffee house? Different names for same magical place!