Traders plying the numerous routes to the Orient were introduced to coffee through the hospitality of the local brewers and word of its beneficial powers spread. By the mid-1600s the beans had reached Austria, France, and Italy, much of it through the efforts of Viennese traders. The first coffeehouse opened in Italy in 1645, then England in 1652, Paris in 1672, and Berlin in 1721.

Around 1688 Edward Lloyd opened a coffeehouse on Tower Street in London and attracted merchants, ship owners, and maritime agents with postings of the latest shipping information. Publishing Lloyd’s News in 1696, he established London’s first daily newspaper. Edward Lloyd’s coffeehouse eventually became Lloyd’s of London, the world’s most renowned insurance market.

Once again, as coffee became wildly popular, the local religious leaders saw reason to fear its effects. Skepticism from the Vatican led Christians to view it as the “devil’s drink” and to call for its banishment. A wise Pope Vincent III decided to give coffee a taste before ruling on its suitability for his flock. He enjoyed the dark and decidedly dangerous drink so much that he baptized it, proclaiming “coffee is so delicious it would be a pity to let the infidels have exclusive use of it.”

Coffee houses spread quickly across Europe becoming centers for intellectual exchange. Many great minds of Europe used and continue to use this beverage, and forum, as a springboard to heightened thought and creativity.

….”Ah, how sweet coffee tastes! Lovelier than a thousand kisses, sweeter far than muscatel wine! I must have coffee….” Johann Sebastian Bach, KAFFEE KANTATE, 1732.