Coffee is one of the most widely
consumed drinks in the world. Coffee beans originated in Africa and are now
being grown and imported all around the world. With the spread of the bean came
the spread of coffee’s social influence as strong as its distinct bitter taste.
Originally consumed in private social settings, coffee’s social influence
eventually took a public shift with the advent of coffee houses or cafes. Cafes
became prevalent in Europe starting around the 14th century where they were
used as social gathering places. In addition, cafes also became artistic,
intellectual, commercial, and political centers. This culture is carried on in
modern day cafes, which are still very prevalent thanks to the rise of
franchises like Starbucks, and their continued efforts of independently owned
shops. Nonetheless, instead of facilitating political gatherings as
they did historically in Europe, cafes today tend to primarily facilitate small
talk and Wi-Fi usage.