Coffee culture with a long tradition
This week once again it is time for the annual London Coffee Festival (April 12-15) and initiate the UK Coffee Week on April 16. Time to take a look at the English coffee culture.
- The first documented reference to coffee in England dates back to 1637, when a Lebanese named “Jacob the Jew” opened a coffee shop in Oxford.
- In 1654, the Lloyds Coffeehouse opened in London, which later became the major insurance company.
- Like other colonial powers, English sailors brought the coffee plant to their colonies around the world like Jamaica, Uganda and Kenya.
- In 1820 there were about 9,000 cafés in London alone.
- Hard to believe, but until the beginning of the 18th century, the British were the most passionate coffee drinkers in the world.
- The average Briton went then 3 times a day in cafes for coffee and reading newspapers.
- They served as information exchange and place of trade.
- The visit of coffee houses, however, was reserved only for men of higher stature and the bourgeoisie.
- The disadvantaged London women petitioned the government to ban the harmful and sexually damaging drink. The men argued that the coffee stimulates the bloodstream.
- By 1850, the coffee trend was over, as the conditions for tea in recent decades were improving.
- For example, women had access to the tea gardens, which opened in 1750. In 1783, the tea tax was lowered and coffee diseases and vermins destroyed large parts of the coffee harvest in the 17th and 18th centuries.
- From 1860, tea plantations in Sri Lanka replaced the cultivation of coffee.
☕ Traditional Preparation
Although the consumption of tea on the island decreases every year, 84% of the British drink tea every day. Meanwhile, the British are also very involved in the Third Wave coffee scene.
- Sweeten 1 cup of strong hot coffee with 1 heaped tsp sugar and place in preheated jars.
- Stir with 4 tbsp of Irish whiskey.
- Then beat 2 tbsp of cream semi-solid and pour over the coffee.
- Sprinkle with grated chocolate and serve.