History of coffee house

What is the world’s most popular beverage? Well, by any name, in any language, all around the world, at any time of day, coffee is one of the top entrants. Its great taste, energizing properties and the endless ways you can have your cup of coffee, make it so popular.

But it must have been something else, much more important, that it deserved that status. Actually, coffee has been at the center of social interaction for centuries satisfying the need that humans and many other species have: to be an accepted member of a group. Whether it is family, friends, co-workers, or a sports team, humans have an inherent desire to belong. The motive to belong is the need for strong, stable relationships with other people.

Since the coffee houses originated in the Near East, they have become the center of society, a great meeting ground, providing a place to meet and talk. The popularity of the coffee houses was unequaled and people frequented them for all kinds of social activity.

Psychological insight, sense of humour and abundance of colour are marks of trade of Jan Steen, Dutch genrist of Baroque epoch: Daily life to the point of chaos and lustfulness. Many of Steen's paintings bear references to old Dutch proverbs or literature.

Backgammon players, by Jan Steen (c.1625-1679). As always, the Dutch is to the point of chaos

Not only did people drink coffee and engage in conversation, but they also listened to music, watched performers, played chess (coffee was considered as “milk” of chess players and thinkers) and kept current on the news of the day. In fact, they quickly became such an important center for the exchange of information that the coffee houses were often referred to as “Schools of the Wise.”

Sounds familiar? People used these establishments, as they do today, to discuss business, read, and enjoy each other’s company. It seems that hardly anything has changed in our approach to the social atmosphere of coffee houses over the centuries. Where better can you enjoy a delightful chat with a friend, as well as a delicious brew of coffee? That is why there are many coffee house chains prospering in America: Starbucks, Caribou Coffee, Tim Horton’s, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Coffee Beanery, Seattle’s Best, Peet’s Coffee, Tully’s, Dunn Bros. Coffee, Port City Java…

You will find many things in the coffee house in the name of creativity. It can be a wonderful place for finding some much needed inspiration. It is a place that allows you to use the internet, and sit all day writing a book or doing some creative work. But nothing gives inspiration like a friendly animated conversation with other people and friends.

Cafes and board games

An increasing number of coffee shops, cafes and restaurants all around the world is now taking on regaining the status of the epicenter of social life. To attract customers, they are experimenting with new menu items–board games such as chess, shogi, and backgammon. The Mind Café in Singapore offers over 2,000 board games. The whole concept of being able to play board games while dining is unique, as not many establishments offer this.

Socializer event at Chess Cafe

Meet, talk, play. Chess Cafe, Gent Belgium. And no chaos here

Board games, such as chess, require a certain kind of communication. That is why they are well-suited to being played in environments such as cafes where people come to meet and socialize. Board games are that gluing ingredient that may make people get together, a great opportunity for them to meet others through the game. You want to sate your palette and catch up with friends? No problem.  Have you coffee, or meal, and entertainment at the same time.

Cafe Plus, a coffee shop in East Syracuse; Cornwall’s, a typical English pub in Boston; The Mind Café in Singapore; Hotel du Nord, one of the best restaurant finds in Paris tucked away on picturesque Canal St. Martin; Chess Cafe Anpasan in Osaka, Japan; Milkshakes and Games Old Fashioned Family Night! at Chick-fil-A.

What is so special about them? You can enjoy playing board games while meeting and dining with your old or newly made friends, or your co-workers after a stressful day.

You want your establishment, restaurant, pub, or coffee shop to solidify its status as the neighborhood’s social and cultural meeting point, or become the culinary epicenter for years to come? Well, maybe you should join this increasingly popular trend around the Globe that seems to be addressing our deeply-ingrained need to meet, eat and socialize.


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