Throughout history, cafes have been a place to meet friends, work, and provide a source of inspiration. The history of the cafe is a long one; the activities cafe in which customers take part have generally remained the same through time.
Cafes have served as public forums for as long as their existence and have a lasting legacy through history. While the Internet hosts lively debates and lengthy intellectual discussions, the general cafe culture is still alive and well.
Old History of the Cafe
Mecca, known for being the Prophet Muhammad’s birthplace and Islam’s holiest city, played a key role in the history of the cafe. People believe that it is the location of the world’s very first coffee shop. The city’s first cafes can be traced back to 1511 and contributed to the spread of cultural and intellectual ideas across the region.
Although Mecca’s government at first banned coffee since its intoxicating properties were viewed as a violation of Islam, the drink eventually won them over. In fact, a sect of Islam known as Sufism even incorporated coffee as an integral part of their religion.
The first café in Europe opened in the 1600’s in Venice, closely followed by cafes in England and Vienna. The Viennese quickly established several café traditions, which led the way to the now famous Viennese coffee house culture.
The history of the cafe owes much to the Vienna. Viennese cafes were known for being fully equipped with ways to entertain their customers, which often included card games, pool tables, and the daily newspapers. History has regarded the city’s cafe as popular meeting places through for people to discuss subjects, ranging from politics and poetry to art and music. Many even argue that without Viennese cafe culture several well-known geniuses, like Sigmund Freud and Leon Trotsky, would never have gotten their start.
Cafes throughout Europe became places that men could have conversations about complex, and oftentimes radical, ideas. It was this open-minded culture that made way to the Enlightenment.
Coffee in the US
Before the late 18th century, the majority of those living in America were avid tea drinkers. The beginning of the shift from tea to coffee as the preferred drink in America can be traced back to 1773, when the Boston Tea Party occurred, an important day in history for all..
New York’s first coffee roaster opened in 1793, but everyday coffee drinking was still only possible for the wealthy. It wasn’t until 1882 when regulatory bodies created standards to regulate the quality and price of coffee. This made coffee more available to average Americans. And the rest is history.
Modern Day Cafes
The modern day cafe hasn’t changed too drastically since its first inception. Cafes are still a place that people use to connect and build upon each other’s ideas. The only difference is that the implementation of free Wi-Fi allows cafe customers to connect virtually with the world.
The evolution and history of the cafe has had a significance in daily life of people around the world. I love going to cafes to do work. What does the cafe mean to you?