Posted in Kafevend Blog
London's first ever coffee house was established in 1652 in St Michael's Alley, Cornhill. It was opened by a man named Pasqua Rosée, with the aid of the Levant company merchant Daniel Edwards who had employed him as a servant when meeting him in Smyrna . Edwards traded in Turkey and brought coffee from there for Rosée to sell back at home. The earliest coffee house in England was one established in the same year as Rosée's in Oxford. Before long, there were hundreds of coffee houses throughout London and thousands all over England.
In today's world of cookie cutter coffee chains, the emphasis on intelligent debate has rather fallen by the wayside under the pressure of ordering oddly named variations of coffee and milk, which seems a shame. Back then, coffee houses were popular haunts for people wishing to engage in debate and discussion regarding anything from politics to poetry. The houses were typically indepedently run businesses with their own character. One such house catered towards shipping merchants and the like, with the owner gathering information and news relevant to his patrons' seaborne interests- even insurance deals were made there, eventually resulting in Lloyds of London.