When a seventeenth-century European businessman wanted to hear the latest business news, follow commodity prices, keep up with political gossip, find out what other people thought of a new book, or stay abreast of the latest scientific developments, all he had to do was walk into a coffeehouse" - p.151, A History of the World in 6 GlassesFrom A History of the World in Six Glasses:
- Coffee originated in the Arab world, first becoming popular in Yemen in the mid-fifteenth century.
- The first coffeehouse opened in London in 1652, and by 1663 there were already eighty-three.
- Arabia was the only supplier of coffee until the Dutch started coffee plantations in the 1690s in Java (in modern day Indonesia).
- In January of 1684, a conversation took place in a coffeeshop about the theory of gravity. Edmond Halley, one of three discussing the matter, visited Isaac Newton a few months later to ask him about the idea. Newton had done some work previously but decided to devote himself to the subject. In 1687 he published The Principia which outlines the principle of universal gravitation.
- The world's leading insurance market, Lloyd's of London, was birthed out of a coffeeshop opened by Edward Lloyd in the late 1680s.
- There was only one coffee tree in Paris in 1723 and was a gift from the Dutch to Louis XIV in 1714. A French naval officer named Gabriel de Clieu was able to obtain the tree and take it to the French West Indies. A few years after harvesting the plant, descendants of that original plant could be found in many other countries, which began to overtake the Arabian coffee market.
- The coffeehouses of Paris in the mid-eighteenth century were centers of philosophical and political discussion that produced the Enlightenment and the French Revolution.
In a series