The first coffeehouse opened during the 15th century in Constantinople, Turkey (present day Istanbul) where Turkish coffee was served strong, black, and unfiltered. Some believed it was an aphrodisiac while some thought it helped women with menstrual cramps.
By the 1600s, coffeehouses began to emerge in Europe where it became a popular spot for upper-class businessmen to meet and consult. The idea soon made its way to America during the colonial period. Over time, many business deals were brokered over cups of coffee in coffeehouses all across major American cities such as New York City, San Francisco, and Boston.
Until 1946, coffeehouses were serving only regular coffee. Espresso coffee – a concentrated beverage brewed by forcing a small amount of nearly boiling water under pressure through finely ground coffee beans – was introduced to coffeehouses after the invention of a commercial piston espresso machine by Gaggia. The machine provided an easy, safe and effective way to make an espresso.
The modern-age coffeehouse was born. Now, it has evolved into an establishment which focuses on providing a variety specialty coffee and tea beverages as well as small complementary pastries and snacks. Nevertheless, the coffeehouse setting remains as a center of social interaction whether for business or for pleasure. It allows visitors to congregate, mingle, talk, study, write, read, entertain one another, or pass the time while enjoying a cup of coffee or tea.