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I've tasted these coffee cakes and they're every bit as good as they look - sweet and scrumptious. Too good - one slice leads to another!

Gillian Anderson

The History of the Coffee House
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The History of the Coffee House

Coffee was instantly popular in Arabian countries, especially Mecca Ė the center of Islamic religious teaching, in modern day Saudi Arabia, because it allowed worshipers to stay awake for all-night prayers. The coffee houses where it was drunk - forerunners to the European coffee houses as meeting places for intellectuals and story telling and gossip, kept people away from the mosques, and it was suspected, up to no good.

The concept of the coffee house followed the coffee trade to Turkey (after the Turks invaded the country of Yemen, where coffee for much of Arabia was grown) and its popularity quickly spread. Once the coffee house was introduced in Europe it started its own sort of social tradition - stimulating beverages and lively conversation - established a tradition that endures today. The first coffee house in England was in Oxford and it opened in 1650. Lloyds of London began in 1688 as a coffee house on Tower Street, founded by Edward Lloyd. In that coffee shop he prepared lists of ships and cargo that his clients had insured.

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