Coffee drinking spread through Europe during the first half of the 17th century – this was a time of a great social, cultural and intellectual change, progressive ideas were born – the age of Enlightenment in France and later the rise of libertarian Risorgimento movement in Italy. There was a growing need for people to express their opinion and coffee houses gladly took this opportunity to flourish.
In Europe as in Turkey the coffee houses attracted diverse clientèle – professional, political, commercial, they were also the type of place where artists and writers working in isolation could make contact with each other and the world. The owner or the head waiter of the coffee house played very important roles among their customers – of social arbiter, matchmaker, diplomat and a message-taker. Moreover, the communication and information services like newspaper and telephone didn’t exist at that time, that’s why the coffee houses were something like surfing the web or going on Facebook today. Everybody wanted to know what’s happening in town, latest news, latest gossip. As George Mikes says in Coffee Houses of Europe: “Not everyone knows your private address, but everyone knew which coffee house you went to”.
Banks M., The World Encyclopedia of coffee;
Wechselberger J., The Ultimate Coffee Book for Beginners and Professionals;