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Café Procope: The longest continuously running café in France

2862479787_cdf4442d84_b Café Procope has a special place in the history of coffee as well as a special place in the history of France itself.

Coffee came late to France compared to other countries and continents. Coffee cultivation began in Ethiopia in eastern Africa. Coffee was traded throughout North Africa and eventually made its way to the Middle East, Turkey, and Persia. Eventually, coffee made its way to Europe.

If Europe was so late in getting coffee, why is the Café Procope significant? Culture in France and by extension Europe and much of the balance of the countries of the world developed in not just cafés, but in Café Procope specifically.

Coffee had made inroads into the beverage market which was dominated by alcoholic beverages. Coffee facilitated lucid and spirited discussions. There was a change in the air in France in the late 18th century.

Luminaries of many types visited Café Procope.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the philosopher, was known to have patronized Café Procope. Thomas Jefferson is said to have based his draft of the United States Declaration of Independence partly on the teaching of Rousseau. The fact that the French aided the colonies in the American Revolution is attributed in part to Rousseau’s work and philosophical influence.

François-Marie Arouet, aka Voltaire, was another Café Procope patron. The writer and philosopher penned articles, books, plays, and history during his time. Voltaire was known to engage in discussions with fellow writers and philosophers during his visits to Café Procope.

The seeds of the cultural tumult that led to the French Revolution were no doubt explored and discussed by patrons of this very special café.

Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson were patrons of the Café Procope.

Coffee has a special part in history. Coffee had a seat at the proverbial table in Café Procope, in France, during one of the most significant points in time.

When one studies French history and learns about the most influential people of that time, one can imagine that coffee houses such as Café Procope played a key role in the furtherance of ideas of that period. France (and Europe) got a bit soberer by drinking coffee instead of alcoholic beverages. Culture in France and thus throughout the world made great strides during the late 1700’s due to the wonder of the coffee bean and the great coffeehouses of Europe, such as Café Procope.

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