1650 – 1660
1652 – England’s first coffee house opens in Cornhill, London. Located in St. Michael’s Alley, the shop is run by proprietor Pasqua Rosee, a Ragusa native, who is the servant of Turkish-goods trader Daniel Edwards who helped Rosee set up the shop and imported the coffee.
The British coffee houses become known as “penny universities” because that is what it cost to get a cup of coffee, and it was said that the Oxford college students who frequented the establishments could get an education for a penny and learn more at the coffee house than they could learn from all of their school books.
Within a few years of Rosee’s coffee shop opening an Oxford Coffee Club formed. Intellectuals visiting included Sir Robert Boyle.
Later this club would become the renowned scientific think-tank called the Royal Society. Today the site is a trendy cocktail bar in the building called The Grand Cafe. A wall plaque commemorates the site’s history.
1654 – Queen’s Lane Coffee House opens in Oxford. The coffee shop is still operating today.
1657 – Mr. Thevenot returns to Paris after traveling in the East and brings coffee, giving it to friends including a Mr. de la Croix, the interpreter for France’s King Louis XIV.
Mr. de la Croix reported it to Antoine Galland (1646-1715) who wrote an account of it. Soon after this coffee drinking would become quite popular in Paris.
1658 – The Dutch and their huge stock-selling corporation of the Dutch East India Company (which was empowered to fight wars), take over Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) from the Portuguese to obtain a cinnamon monopoly, and as an extra benefit they acquire the small coffee plantations that had been established there by the Arabs.
A century and one half earlier the Portuguese had taken these same plantations from the Arabs.
1660 – 1670
1660 – Dutch traders bring coffee to the Dutch colonial settlement of New Amsterdam which four years later comes under control of the British and is renamed New York. By this time coffee has become a popular drink among the town’s residents, particularly as a morning beverage.
Coffee houses in New York provide coffee as well as tea, wine, and ale. These first New York coffee houses also offered rooms for rent and served food, so they were somewhat like taverns.
1661 – An author listed only as M.P. wrote a tract titled A character of coffee and coffee-houses that states “Tis extolled for drying up the Crudities of the Stomack, and for expelling Fumes out of the Head. Excellent Berry! which can cleanse the English-man’s Stomak of Flegm, and expel Giddinesse out of his Head.”
1663 – Licenses are required for all British coffee houses.
1668 – An England coffee house is established by Edward Lloyd and frequented by numerous merchants and maritime agents. Lloyd develops connections with the patrons and begins to prepare lists of his customers ships, the cargo the ships carry, and the ships’ schedules. These lists are then used by underwriters who sell insurance to those who need it, and merchants use the lists to track their shipments.
Lloyd’s coffee shop would grow into the business called Lloyd’s of London, one of the world’s top insurance companies, which is still in business today.
1668 – Coffee becomes popular in New York as a breakfast drink.
1669 – The Ambassador to Paris from Sultan Mehmed IV, whose name was Soleiman Agha [Soliman Aga], arrives in Paris bringing a significant quantity of coffee beans and introducing it to the court of Louis the XIV.
Suleiman and his entourage provided coffee for their European and French guests and also gave coffee beans to the Royal Court – soon all of Paris was discussing this alluring and exotic new beverage. From the middle of 1969 until the middle of 1670 coffee drinking took hold as a Parisian custom.
1670 – 1680
1671 – France’s first coffee house is opened in the Exchange neighborhood in Marseilles.
1672 – Paris opens its first coffee house, a Parisian cafe whose main purpose was to serve coffee. The coffee shop is opened by an Armenian named Pascal who first sold coffee at the St. Germain’s Fair.
1674 – A Women’s Petition Against Coffee states that “the Excessive Use of that Newfangled, Abominable, Heathenish Liquor called COFFEE…has Eunucht our Husbands and Crippled our more kind Gallants, that they are becomes as Impotent, as Age.”
The petition also states that, “Coffee leads men to trifle away their time, scald their chops, and spend their money, all for a little base, black, thick, nasty, bitter, stinking nauseous puddle water.”
1675 – England coffee houses exceed three thousand and continue to spread in Europe. Women were not allowed in England coffee houses except to serve coffee, though women commonly frequented coffee houses in Germany.
1675, December 23 – Britain’s King Charles II closes the country’s coffee houses in response to the Women’s Petition Against Coffee entitled A Proclamation for the Suppression of Coffee Houses.
The proclamation had stated that: “Whereas it is most apparent that the multitude of Coffee Houses of late years set up and kept within this Kingdom, …and the great resort of idle and disaffected persons to them, have produced very evil and dangerous effects; as well for that many tradesman and others, do herein misspend much of their time, which might and probably would be employed in and about their Lawful Calling and Affairs; but also for that in such houses …divers, false, malitious, and scandalous reports are devised and spread abroad to the Defamation of His Majesty’s Government, and to the disturbance of the Peace and Quiet of the Realm.” The proclamation went on to declare that, “his Majesty hath thought it fit and necessary, that the said Coffee Houses be (for the Future) put down and suppressed.”
On January 8, 1676, just a couple of weeks after the initial proclamation shutting down the coffee houses, King Charles II succumbs to public protests and reverses the decision, allowing coffee houses to operate.
1677 – Some say Hamburg had the first European coffee house beginning in this year. Most accept the Vienna claim (see below).
1679 – Germany’s first coffee house opens in Hamburg. The proprietor is an English merchant.
1680 – 1690
1683 – Austria’s first coffee house opens in Vienna after the country defeated the Turks in the Battle of Vienna and acquired coffee as part of the spoils.
The coffee house, the first in Europe, was established by the young Ukranian-born Polish military officer Jerzy Franciszek Kulczycki [Franz Georg Kolschitzky; Franz George Kolschitzky], a Viennese man who had previously lived in Istanbul, Turkey for a decade and spoke fluent Turkish.
During the Turk attack in 1875, with the Turkish army was attacking Vienna for the second time. A Turkish army of some 300,000 had laid siege to the grand city of culture and final surrender to the Ottoman Empire was imminent.
With the Turks surrounding Vienna, Kulczycki offered his services to the beleaguered Viennese troops. Kulczycki assumed a Turkish army uniform and in a clandestine mission he was able to slip through the enemy lines of the Turks while also gathering strategic information vital to the Viennese cause.
Kulczycki then led the relief forces of 33,000 Austrians into Vienna. The Austrians and the Prince of Lorraine mounted their attack and sent the Turks fleeing.
Left behind was a tremendous booty including 5,000 camels, 10,000 oxen, Gold, and 25,000 tents. Perhaps the most important thing left behind however, at least for this story, were the 500 sacks of coffee “dry black fodder” that Kulczycki recognized as coffee which he had learned to make in Istanbul.
Claiming the coffee as his reward, Kulczycki is given Austrian nationality and allowed to use the coffee to open central Europe’s first coffee house, which he names the Blue Bottle. To appeal to the Viennese palate, Kulczycki begins to filter the coffee and add a spoonful of honey and cream.
The Austrian Blue Bottle coffee house is thus credited with popularizing the custom of adding a small amount of milk to the coffee and also sweetening it and filtering out the grounds.
Coffee houses in Vienna are known to display Kulczycki’s photo to commemorate his heroism and his pioneering Viennese coffee shop. Kulczycki is known in Vienna as the patron saint of coffee houses.
1685 – The Dutch succeed in the commercial transportation and cultivation of coffee by smuggling coffee out of Mocha (an Arab port), and bringing it to Ceylon as well as the Dutch East Indian colony in Java where the coffee is cultivated.
1685 – A French druggist named Dufour publishes a treatise called Traitez nouveaux & curieux du cafe du the et du chocolate, which was an expansion of his 1671 work called “De l’usage du cafe, du the et du chocolate.”
1686 – Cafe Procope opens in Paris in the heart of the renowned Quartier Latin, on the left bank at 13 rue de l’Ancienne Comedie. The coffee shop is opened by the Sicilian Francesco Procopio de Coltelli who is from Florence.
Refurbished in 1989, this is Paris’ oldest coffee house still in operation and also claims to be the oldest restaurant in existence in the world.
In the early years Cafe Procope served as a meeting place for intellectuals of the eighteenth century including Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Voltaire (his table is still there). Another patron was a young lieutenant named Napoleon Bonaparte who once had to leave his hat behind in order to pay the bill.
In the nineteenth century the regulars included George Sand and Alexander von Humboldt.
1689 – Some chroniclers of coffee history today claim that a reference to the year 1689 in the book History and Antiquities of the City of Boston by Samuel Gardner Drake proves that Boston had the first coffee house in America, and it was named the London Coffee House. The reference states that, “Benj. Harris sold books at the “London Coffee House” in 1689.
1690 – 1700
1692 – In The Good Hous-Wife Made a Doctor, author Thomas Tryon writes that, “In a word, coffee is the drunkard’s settle-brain, the fool’s pastime, who admirest it for being the production of Asia.”
Tryon, who lived from 1634 to 1703, also writes that coffee “is ravished with delight when he hears the berries grow in the deserts of Arabia, but would not give a farthing for a hogshead of it, if it were to be had on Hampstead Heath or Banstead-Downs.”
1696, November 1 – John Hutchins purchases a lot on Broadway in New York between what is now called Cedar Street and the Trinity Churchyard. Hutchins built a structure and named it King’s Arms. Some believe this to be America’s first coffee house though it is a matter of debate.
1698 – At Johnathan’s Coffee House in London’s Change Alley, the first known organized trading of marketable securities in London occurs when John Castaing starts issuing lists of commodity and stock prices. Over coffee the information is traded and commodities are bought and sold – this was the beginning of the London Stock Exchange.
1699 – The tract titled England’s Happiness Improved states that, “Moderately drunk, coffee removes vapours from the brain, occasioned by fumes of wine, or other strong liquors; eases pains in the head, prevents sour belchings, and provokes appetite.”
The plants had been smuggled from the Arab port of Mocha, and until this time the Arabs controlled coffee supplies, with the Venetians only getting coffee from Arabia which controlled Europe’s coffee trade.
The plants acquired by the Dutch were first cultivated in Amsterdam then planted in the East India colonies including Java and Sumatra where the coffee trees thrived. These colonies supplied Amsterdam which became Europe’s coffee trade center.
Late 1600s – The Dutch form an alliance with Kerala natives against the Portuguese and bring coffee plants to Holland from Malabar, India. The prized coffee plants are cultivated in greenhouses and later at Dutch forts in Malabar. (See 1699.
Next see Coffee History / 1700-1750