Coffee, the sober drink, the mighty nourishment of the brain, which unlike other spirits, heightens purity and lucidity; coffee, which clears the clouds of the imagination and their gloomy weight; which illuminates the reality of things suddenly with the flash of truth.

—Jules Michelet French historian (1798-1874)

Without coffee and coffee houses we might not have the world we live in today. The influence of coffee on world history from the 1600s onward is pretty remarkable. The Enlightenment was powered by coffee and their place of consumption, the coffee house served as a gathering place for minds of all stripes.

The impact of coffee was furthered increased in the big cities of Europe like London and Paris, because of what they replaced as the common beverage, drinking wine and beer.

"This coffee drink hath caused a greater sobriety among the Nations. Whereas formerly Apprentices and clerks with others used to take a morning draught of Ale, Beer or Wine, which, by the dizziness they cause in the Brain, made many unfit for business, they use now to play the Good-fellows in this wakeful and civil drink.” (1660)

We can trace Enlightenment ideas like Newton's Theory of Gravity directly to a conversation in a coffee shop. The world's largest insurance market is Lloyd's of London, Lloyd's was a coffee shop! Same with the London's Stock Exchange, it started in a coffee shop called Jonathan's. These are just some of the minor influences of coffee houses covered in this chapter.

Coffee and its culture lead to a change in the course of history. For the first time, people were having a stimulating beverage instead of a depressing one. Coffee gave us the world we have today, and we will pick back up on coffee in a few chapters.