Coffee houses, taverns, tea and chocolate | The History of London

Originally posted on The History of London

Garroway's Coffee House

Garroway’s Coffee House

In the latter 17th century and throughout the 18th century a major impact on London life was made by the introduction of coffee houses, which became numerous throughout the city. The forerunner of the modern café, they were used in a similar way to pubs of the 20th century, with many having a particular type of male customer who could socialise or do business with similar-minded men. The best-remembered example is that owned by Edward Lloyd in the 1680s where he successfully built up a clientele consisting of shipping merchants from which developed the Lloyd’s of London insurance market. Writers, artists, politicians and businessmen all frequented their own special hostelries.

Coffee originated in Ethiopia in northern Africa and later spread throughout the Muslim world. It reached Europe via Italy from where Venetian merchants traded with North African ports. Arriving in England in the latter 16th century the name was anglicised from the Italian caffé. From the 17th century coffee was being grown in the North American colonies, allowing it to be more easily available in England. Sometimes referred to as ‘politician’s porridge’ it was taken sweetened with sugar but never with milk.

The first coffee house in England was established by a Turkish Jew at Oxford in 1650. Two years later another opened at St.Michael’s Alley off Cornhill, with the coffee probably imported by Daniel Edwards, who traded in Turkish goods, and the establishment managed by…

via Coffee houses, taverns, tea and chocolate | The History of London.

Drinking Chocolate

How delicious this sounds!

All Things Georgian

chocolate mill cups and pot

Courtesy of Lewis Walpole Library

The things we subject ourselves to in the name of research! Just recently Jo visited her local Christmas Market in the city of Lincoln and returned having purchased two packets of ‘18th Century Hot Chocolate Drink’, one for her and the other which she kindly sent to me, an acknowledged ‘chocoholic’ to sample.

I’m writing this blog with a most wonderful cup of the chocolate at the side of me. I have to say the taste is totally different to the usual brands of hot chocolate you buy in the supermarket today, it’s a much richer, creamy ‘chocolately’ taste and has been infused with long pepper, cardamom and cinnamon – the perfect drink for a frosty winter morning.

So the aim is that the blog should be written in the time it takes me to drink this lovely concoction!

As we all know chocolate…

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