'Black in colour and made by infusing the powdered berry of a plant that flourished in Arabia' - That is how coffee was described in the seventeenth century in history journals. Coffee was introduced to Europeans in the 17th century. Coffee houses were born due to a social need, as poets, playwrights, journalists, and members of the public were gathering in the central areas of the city to drink coffee and tea, to think, write, discuss literature and politics, as well as the latest news and stories.
That’s how the term ‘coffee-house politician’ came about, referring to someone who would visit coffee houses to share matters of national interest to anyone willing to listen, making the coffee houses a symbol that helped change the course of history.
Pasqua Roseé in 1652, opened the first coffee house in London. They used to serve coffee, tea, tobacco, chocolate, and Turkish sherbets. The espresso trend started, as the name implies, in Italy. It was first done by Luigi Bezzera, who created a machine that pushed steam and water through a coffee filter. Biscotti, cannoli, and pizzelle are traditional treats
to accompany coffee.
The first mention of tea in English was made by a traveller in China in 1637, describing tea as "chaa — only water with a kind of herb boyled in it". When Charles II married Catherine of Braganza (a Portuguese princess), she spread the British trend for drinking tea and by the mid-seventeenth century it became very fashionable in aristocratic circles and at the royal court.
Tea rooms were described as "popular and fashionable, especially with women", a safe and decent place for them to gather, eat and discuss politics. An afternoon tea break became a legal right among workers and later on, in the mid-20th century, debates were made about adding milk before or after in the tea cup and at what temperature in order to not alter the flavour.
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