5 Ways Coffee Changed the Course of History in England

TIME

History News Network

This post is in partnership with the History News Network, the website that puts the news into historical perspective. The article below was originally published at HNN.

1. People became more attentive and sharp

Before coffee became prevalent in the late seventeenth century, nearly all members of society indulged in different alcoholic beverages, varying based on social status. This meant that for most of history, it could be assumed that people were always somewhat drunk. In a 1674 advertisement for coffee, alcohol is described as “drowning…reasons and souls.” When coffee was introduced, it was immediately noted that coffee was more wholesome, and was desirable for businessmen who relied on acumen and sobriety. When it became clear that the effects of coffee led to productivity and successful negotiation, the coffeehouse became a common locale for business transactions. Coffee was a mental stimulant, which provided a stark…

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