Kiva Han was the world’s first coffee shop and bar and it opened in 1475 in Constantinople (now Istanbul), Turkey.

The coffee was served strong, black and unfiltered, a style introduced to the area by the Ottoman Turks. Kiva Han's coffee was brewed in an ibrik, a long-handled pot, and served piping hot to patrons.

During this period, coffee was of such great importance then, Turkish law deemed it legal for a woman to divorce her husband if he could not supply her with enough coffee.

The idea of doctoring up one's coffee with cream and sweeteners, came into fashion in Europe around 1529, when the first coffee house in Europe was established. Vienna was invaded by the Turkish army, who left many bags of coffee behind when they fled the city. Franz Georg Kolschitzky claimed the coffee as the spoils of war and opened a coffee house. Apparently, he had lived in Turkey and was the only person who recognized the value in the beans. He introduced the idea of filtering coffee, as well as the softening the brew with milk and sugar. The beverage was quite a hit, and when coffee houses also started serving sweet pastries and other confectionery treats, their popularity exploded.

Coffee establishments continued to spread, with the first one opening up in Britain in 1652. Though its popularity was growing in Europe, the idea arrived in England again from Turkey. An English merchant who dealt in Turkish goods (such as coffee) had two of his servants leave him, to go into business for themselves.

"The Turk's Head" coffee house was born.

It was in an English coffee house that the word "tips" was first used for gratuities. A jar with a sign reading, "To Insure Prompt Service" sat on the counter. You put a coin in the jar to be served quickly.

The British called their coffee houses, "penny universities" because that was the price for the coffee and the social upper-class of businessmen were found there. In fact, a small coffee shop run by Edward Lloyd in 1668 was such a business hub, it eventually became the still-operating Lloyd's of London insurance company.

From there, the idea spread further through Europe. Italy in 1654 and then Paris in 1672. Germany embraced the coffee house for the first time in 1673.

When America was colonized, the coffee house was quick to follow. The role of the American coffee house was the same as those in England: the hotspots for the business community. The Tontine Coffee House (1792) in New York was the original location for the New York Stock Exchange because so much business was conducted there.


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