The Rich History Behind a Proper Cup of Coffee It is rather impertinent to suggest any household care to a housekeeper, but I just venture to say that the coffee-mill will be wanted every day while Edward is at Steventon, as he always drinks coffee for breakfast. Jane Austen to Cassandra June 11, 1799 The history of coffee drinking is as colorful as any food history can be. According to the The Roast and Post Coffee Company, Coffee was hardly known in Europe before the seventeenth century. European travellers, who visited Middle Eastern countries at this time, probably visited the coffee houses, where business would be transacted, or saw street coffee peddlers carrying coffee for sale in copper pots. When these travelers returned, their reports about coffee aroused European interest in coffee. Perhaps these travelers brought back small samples of coffee beans, but the Venetians were the first people to bring larger quantities of coffee into Europe. In 1615, Venice received Europes’ first shipment of green coffee beans and the first coffee house there, Caffè Florian, opened in 1683. Coffee was known in the first half of the 17th Century in Venice and Marseille but there was no trade in beans there. Although famous for their tea drinking, the British were the first European nation to embrace the pleasures of coffee drinking on a commercial basis. The first coffeehouse was in Oxford in 1650 where it was opened by a Turkish Jew named Jacob. More opened soon after in London
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