Coffeehouse Book Out Now!

August 20, 2013
by admin

“What News Have We?” Well, The Lost World of the London Coffeehouse by London historian Dr Matthew Green is out now from our online shop for £12. These limited edition hand-sewn pamphlets typeset in a gorgeous Renaissance font on hammered cream paper have been selling faster than a certain dark liquor in a 17th-century churchyard so order your copy now.

In thirty pages of witty and high-octane prose, Oxford-educated Dr Green tells the remarkable story of how, from 1652, a bitter black drink from Turkey – routinely compared to oil, ink, soot, mud and excrement – transformed the face of the City, brought people together, and inspired brilliant ideas that shaped the modern enlightened world.

Read about how an eccentric Greek entrepreneur called Pasqua Rosée hailed coffee as the miracle cure for every ailment under the sun and triggered the biggest coffeehouse boom Europe had ever seen. Feel the wrath of the women who in 1674 petitioned against how “that newfangled, abominable, heathenish liquor called COFFEE” had reduced their men to effeminate, babbling French layabouts and admire the gumption of the men who rejoined that it was the Viagra of the day.

Discover the kaleidoscopic diversity of London’s three thousand coffeehouses including the Hoxton Square Coffeehouse, “renowned for its inquisitions of insanity”, Don Saltero’s, “a museum of taxidermy monsters” and Lunt’s, where you could have a haircut with your coffee “and enjoy a fiery lecture on the abolition of slavery given by its barber-proprietor”. And imagine yourself musing, a dish of gritty coffee in hand, on the rain-spattered deck of London’s only floating coffeehouse, the Folly of the Thames.

Marvel at an age where you could begin a conversation with anyone in the world just by asking “What News Have You?”, an age that thrived on the face-to-face exchange of ideas as we drift into an increasingly virtual world and our high streets are invaded by bland tax-dodging corporate clones.

A collector’s piece and essential further reading for anyone who’s attended our hit Coffeehouse Tour, for a teaser see Dr Matthew Green’s beautifully illustrated coffeehouse features in the Telegraph and  Public Domain Review.

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