The Journey of Humanity

Roman coffee culture is the feature coffee culture of the West. It became popular since the 16th century when Pope Clement VIII, upon tasting coffee, decided to baptized it. Roman coffee is known for its use of technology in processing and making coffee, in addition to the refined delicacy in decorating.

Roman coffee culture has in it an advance knowledge of a civilization that tried its best to break away from the domination of theocracy in the Renaissance and enlighten people’s mind in the Age of Enlightenment. After 10 centuries of living in a haze of the Middle Ages, the pre-capitalists and the Protestants finally embraced coffee – something that was imported from the East – as a humane drink of the new age. They denounced the way people over-consumed wine, saying it was a destruction of humanity.

In the beginning of capitalism, coffee was praised as a drink that helped untie the chain and brought creativity for men. Along with capitalist organizations, coffee freed Western civilizations of beer and wine. Thus, in a way, capitalism needed coffee and coffee needed capitalism, as two parallel lines.

The first coffeehouses established in this period were intentionally called Salons du Peuple (the People’s lounge) (France) and Penny Universities (England). In France, Salons du Peuple were a place where people came to discuss philosophy of life and political situations in the Age of Enlightenment, to be awaken by the power of coffee. Coffeehouses gradually became Parlement du Peuple (The People’s Parliament) – the first democracy public space in the history. In 1721, Montesquieu warned the monarchy about the thread of coffeehouses to its power. He stated, “Coffee has the ability to awaken people’s mind, and coffeehouses – where debates take place – has become established as a public institution, while we haven’t had any rules over it” (Letter 34 [36] – Lettes Persanes). As history has proven, a gathering at the Café de Foy, Place du Palais-Royal, prompted the start of the French Revolution.

Meanwhile, in England, in contrast to the stirring atmosphere of the pubs, Penny Universities were suitable places for contemplating and exchanging knowledge. Coffeehouses were also where many important books on philosophy and economics were penned. David Hume (who is best known today for his highly influential system of philosophical empiricism, skepticism, and naturalism), Jeremy Bantham (the founder of modern utilitarianism), and Adam Smith (the father of modern economics, who came up with the term the Invisible Hand) all laid the foundation for their lifetime achievements at these coffeehouses. The Royal Society, the leading national organization for the promotion of scientific research in Britain, a Fellowship of thousands of the world’s most eminent scientists, with Isaac Newton as its Founder, was also founded at Tilliard’s coffeehouse in 1660.

The concept of coffee society was then established based on a simple idea that no one came to a coffeehouse just to drink coffee. Coffee has become a lifestyle, a philosophy of life of the coffee drinkers themselves.

To instruct and to delight (latin: Delectare et Prodesse) was a guide to the formation of coffee culture in the West, with the partition and interaction of three elements: French Class, Italian Style, and Viennese Spirit as the essence of it. While Delectare was mostly about characteristics of coffee, Prodesse covered a larger scale: the atmosphere of coffee; more specifically, the space and time, and the people involved in coffee drinking. Thus, the characters of a drink cannot be separated from the movement of a place and expectations of its customers. The historical characteristics of subjects, space, and time, and people were basic components that formed coffee culture in the coffee society era.