A coffee shop, as the name suggests, is an establishment that primarily sells coffee for the consumption of customers.
Ah, coffee… that wonderful bean has indeed come far and has remained unstoppable through all these years.
The first coffee shop was started in the late 1600’s by Franciszek Jerzy Kulczycki, or so the story goes. He is said to have received a hoard of green coffee beans from the Polish king Jan III Sobieski, who obtained them from the turks he defeated in the battle of Vienna in 1683.
Skeptics, however, find this story a bit unbelievable… and the date a little too late.
Whatever the origins behind it, the coffee shop became all the rage in the Middle East. In the 16th century, coffee shops were in Istanbul, Cairo, and Mecca.
Coffee, however, arrived a bit late for Europe.
In 1650, the first coffee shop was started in Oxford by a “Jacob or Jacobs”, a turkish Jew.
After that, expansion was inevitable.
Coffee shops started opening: London in 1652, Boston in 1670, and Paris in 1671.
The Café Le Procope, started in Paris in the year 1689, is still in business. It was a major locus of the French Enlightenment, frequented by such people as Voltaire and Rousseau.
Why not go visit that coffee shop? You might learn a thing or two. After all, it is the birth place of the modern Encyclopedia.
Coffee shops also faced their share of tribulations. Charles II once tried to ban them as places of rebellion and “where scandalous reports are spread about his majesty”.
Would you consider that as a ban, or an advertisement? With that kind of proclamation, you would probably seek out the coffee shop nearest to your place.
Well, the English people certainly did. The coffee shops were soon known as “the seats of English Liberty.”
Since then, coffee shops have proved to be great places for thinking, talking, and exchanging ideas.
The London Stock Exchange, believe it or not, used to be a coffee shop!
One thing that’s discouraging about coffee shops in the past, though, is the fact the women were often not allowed inside.
That is just a part of the colorful history of the coffee shop.
Where are coffee shops going now?
Well, some coffee shops still stick to the tradition of selling just coffee or tea-based beverages and light snacks and food.
These types of coffee shops often serve customers who need a place to think, read a book, or just connect with other people.
Coffee shops nowadays are known as a resting place for intellectuals or those who want to appear like intellectuals –geniuses and poseurs.
However, the main appeal of the coffee shop is still the people and the atmosphere.
Walking into a coffee shop, you encounter the ambience of relaxation and at the same time, energy. You experience comfort and yet, an undercurrent of activity.
You see people deep in thought, playing games, talking, reading books and just hanging out in a coffee shop.
Now, you can also see coffee shops selling services other than food and coffee.
Internet cafés are coffee shops that blend the old style coffee shop with the technology of computers. They offer you the convenience of using their computers while you relax with a cup of their hot coffee.
In the Netherlands, an establishment which advertises itself as a “coffee shop” instead of a “café” would likely be in the business of selling cannabis and other drug substances which are tolerated under Netherlands Law.
The coffee shop, indeed, has come a long way. If you want to make coffee yourself, let read best single serve coffee machine reviews carefully