As Standage argues, coffee has long symbolized intellect, creativity, and “just a streak of revolution.” During the Enlightenment, coffee—and the coffeehouses where it was served—represented a form of free, open discourse in which new ideas could be discussed without prejudice. Even today, it might not entirely be a coincidence that Seattle, a center of Internet development, is also the birthplace of Starbucks, the most popular coffee chain in America. Coffee continues to symbolize the thrill of creativity and entrepreneurship.
A History of the World in Six Glasses
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Introduction: Vital Fluids
...can understand important things about human culture. He singles out six drinks: beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea, and Coca-Cola. Each one was “the defining drink during a pivotal historical period.” (full context)
Chapter 7: The Great Soberer
...Standage argues, “Europe began to emerge from an alcoholic haze that had lasted for centuries.” Coffee, a drink that became popular in Europe in the middle of the 17th century, was... (full context)
Chapter 8: The Coffeehouse Internet
Perhaps the greatest book of the Age of Enlightenment was published because of coffeehouse conversation. Robert Hooke, the noted physicist, was drinking coffee with Halley, Wren, and Newton. Hooke... (full context)
Standage argues that science and commerce became heavily intertwined in coffeehouses. Many coffeehouses were patronized primarily by explorers and sailors, and sometimes these patrons would hatch... (full context)
...aristocracy. Voltaire’s books were banned for their supposedly immoral content, yet Voltaire continued to frequent coffeehouses, spending time with such French luminaries as Rousseau and Montesquieu, whose political writings Voltaire influenced. (full context)
Chapter 9: Empires of Tea
...garden was popular with women in part because it provided a gender-equitable alternative to the coffeehouse. Tea consumption trickled down through English society, to the point where, by the late 18th... (full context)
Chapter 10: Tea Power
Epilogue: Back to the Source