It has become a significant and undefined standard that I wake up every morning to partake of my dark elixir. I am easily excited that fresh brewed coffee will soon be in my empty tummy. The grinding of aromatic beans and the preparation and cleaning of the equipment also serves as a kind of ritual for me. It is my drug – quite legal and plenty. It is the knowledge that a cup awaits me, that drags me out of bed and into the world – where café’s dot every other block in the city center and where, in the office, half of the staff depends on its potent abilities.
For five centuries, the western world has been brewing the coffee bean into a rich and fragrant serum – waking up the world to its medicinal knack to engage the conscience.
The first “penny universities” opened in 17th century, London, the coffeehouse was often called a “penny university” because a person could buy a cup for 1 cent and learn more at the coffeehouse than in class – a very egalitarian interest!
The coffeehouse boom is nothing new — its roots go back to the 1600’s. There are cultural processes that shaped early capitalism into a global machine of market exchange. The coffeehouse was a European phenomenon. Before the office age, coffeehouses were places where business could be accomplished. They were bustling, noisy places where merchants, therapists and newspapermen came and went to do their business or sell their goods. Like their modern counterparts, specific
17th-century coffeehouses attracted certain clientele. Caraway’s and Jonathan’s, known for the businessmen who frequented them, helped give birth to the London Stock Exchange.
Café’s in the 19th-century provided an important meeting place for artists, writers, and intellectuals. News, gossip, and ideas were shared as coffee was poured and pipes, cigars, and cigarettes were smoked.
What was it that made writers in France seek out cafés as places to work? I’ve always wanted to live the café life in the 16th world of Paris. I’ve dreamt of having the necessary comforts provided for
tranquil writing and waking every morning to walk to my favorite café where I’d have lunch and for the rest of the day sit with a glass of wine, writing. I do recall jaunts with travel friends to dark bars and cafe’s and pretentiously discussing common literature – the closest I’ve ever come to living the writing life in Paris