The Enlightenment

The Enlightenment period during the 17th and 18th century, an Intellectual and Philosophical movement that dominated he European way of thinking for over 100 years. Schools of thought moved away from Religion and towards Reason, Constitutional Governments, a separation of Church and State, and most importantly the pursuit of happiness.

It's a lesser known fact that caffeine and coffee accelerated the European Philosophical enlightenment. Before the introduction of salons and coffees many europeans had little to drink that wasn't fermented and alcoholic. Once the nations minds were caffeinated and sober, intelligent conversation began and some of the great philosophical minds went to work.

Coffeehouses or salon became the meeting place for these kinds of conversations over the local tavern or pub. By the late 1800s, coffee and coffeehouses were symbols of freedom, progress, and equality. Coffeehouses originated in the Ottoman Empire, as alcohol and bars were off limits to practicing Muslims, this offered a safe, alternative space for people to socialise. 

Pasqua Rosée opened the first coffee house in London in 1652, prompting a revolution in London society. Coffee houses in the UK became known as penny universities- because admission usually cost a penny.