The Coffeehouse Craze

Coffeehouse Trend Dates Back Centuries

Upscale, trendy coffeehouses might be a trend of the present, but they’re not the first to delve into the coffee craze. Ever since the first coffeehouse opened in Constantinople in the 1400s, the craze has gone in waves, but the latest entrants on the market seem to be here and here to stay.

Coffee has been a worldwide favorite for hundreds of years with shops opening up all over Europe following the creation of the first little coffeehouse in Constantinople. Business and coffee just seemed to go hand-in-hand for many Europeans. In fact, the Lloyds of London insurance company was initially begun as a coffee house!

Although the love of coffee shops has kind of come and gone through the ages, and taken on different forms in some eras, in reality the newer coffeehouses owe homage to the ones of days gone by. Without these forerunners and the way they managed to glamorize coffee, these modern day designer shops wouldn’t exist today.

Even in times like the 1950s when coffee houses weren’t necessarily a hit, coffee remained a major commodity. Consider all the diners that served up a slice of pie with a hot cup of Joe and still do.

The beatnik, poetry loving coffee houses of the 1960s have since given way to the trendy, upscale hot spots of the 2000s, but the fact remains coffee is a favorite for millions around the world and has been for a long time regardless of how or where it’s served.

Coffee, in fact, is the world’s second biggest commodity, falling just behind oil. That’s pretty impressive considering it’s just a tiny bean that grows on a tree from the tropics. That tiny bean, however, is responsible for a multi-billion-dollar annual trade and is directly responsible for the employ of millions of people.

Whether growers, processors, roasters, packagers or coffeehouse employees, the dent coffee makes on the worldwide economy is massive. The overall production industry is worth some $60 billion a year and hundreds of thousands of pounds of coffee are shipped from the 50 or so producing countries each year to points all over the world.

The drink behind the coffeehouse craze is believed to have been discovered in Ethiopia. It has since spread from there to Constantinople and beyond. And, it’s showing no signs of slowing down. With more flavors and varieties than some would care to count, coffee is a big business and coffeehouses appear to be here to stay.