The European love affair with coffee.
Coffee soon arrived in Europe aboard sailing ships that navigated the Mediterranean sea. It quickly became popular among aristocrats and the bourgeois, who used it as a stimulating drink, as a sign of wealth, and to show they belonged to the highest social classes.
Coffee made its first appearance in Venice between the 16th and 17th centuries. The first places dedicated to the pleasure of these drinks opened almost simultaneously: the first in Venice in 1640, and soon after in Paris, London, Frankfurt. Coffee houses were quickly becoming centres of social activity and communication in the major cities of England, Austria, France, Germany and Holland.
By the mid-17th century, there were over 300 coffee houses in London, many of which attracted like-minded patrons, including merchants, shippers, brokers and artists. In the mid-1600s, coffee was brought to New York. By the end of the 18th century, coffee had become one of the world’s most profitable export crops, on its way to becoming the second most consumed beverage in the world and creating what is today a billion-dollar industry.