A very interesting bit of history From Jeffery Tucker. I had no idea coffee had been met with such opposition by the authorities.
Now, for another cup.
What was this fear of coffee? Why was this such a big deal? It does have some narcotic properties to it, as we all know so well. It can give you a delightful lift.
But that alone does not account for the early opprobrium with which coffee drinking, particularly for young girls, was greeted. For a fuller account, we need to understand something larger and more socially transformative: the advent of the coffee house itself.
The coffee house was one of the earliest public institutions, operating on a purely commercial basis, that brought a wide variety of social classes, not to mention a mixture between men and women, in a market-based social setting. In the 18th century, coffee houses spread all over Europe and the UK, attracting young people who would sit and drink together, and discuss politics, religion, business, and exchange any manner of ideas.