Home > Coffee, Musings > Coffee and the Enlightenment

Coffee and the Enlightenment

An interesting article in the Vancouver Sun, which I can’t seem to find, linked the Enlightenment with coffee. (The Enlightenment was an 18th century movement based in France, led by noted philosophers such as Locke, Spinoza, and Voltaire. It called for the use of reason to reform society and knowledge)

Apparently, the standard “cuppa joe” in the mornings was a boozy one – until coffee was introduced to Europeans and became popular. People thereafter started their days chipper and alert, ready to pursue the kinds of intellectual conversation associated with the Enlightenment, as opposed to being tipsy and belligerant.

Coffee houses also played a large role in the Enlightenment as venues where the exchange of ideas could freely take place. Anybody, whether rich or poor, could sit, drink coffee, and discuss, so long as they could afford the small price of a cup.

Really makes you wonder at what café culture has evolved into, no?



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