By the end of the 17th century European travelers had brought back a dark black beverage, allowing coffee to make its way in popularity throughout the continent. There were mixed reactions involving the drink’s initial emergence, calling it the “bitter invention of Satan”, forcing the local clergy to condemn the beverage yet while the disturbance continued Pope Clement VIII found it delicious and approved of it within the cities. Despite the continual lull of controversy, coffee houses were becoming heavy social centers of activity and communication in the major cities of England, Austria, France, Germany and Holland. Coffee soon began to take over beer and wine, the common breakfast drinks of the time and those who chose to drink coffee instead of alcohol began their day alert and energized, thus resulting in a greater quality of productivity overall by the working class. Among the coffee bean’s properties was that is drove away fatigue and lethargy, and brought to the body a certain sense of energy and vigour. As demand for the beverage continued to spread, there was fierce competition to cultivate coffee outside of Arabia. The Dutch finally were able to get their hands on the coffee seeds in the latter half of the 17th century, and while their first attempts to plant them in India failed, they were successfully integrated into Batavia, on the island that is now known as Indonesia. The plants thrived and soon the Dutch had a productive and effervescent growing trade in coffee. They soon expanded the horticulture of coffee trees to the islands of Sumatra and Celebes.
Coffee was first introduced to Europe on the island of Malta in the 16th century through slavery, as Turkish Muslim slaves had been imprisoned through the Great Siege of Malta and kept to make their traditional beverage. As coffee was a popular beverage in Maltese high society, many coffee shops later opened as well as creating a dynamic trade agreement between the Republic of Venice, the Muslims in North Africa, Egypt and the East, bringing a large variety of African goods to the leading European ports. Venetian merchants introduced coffee drinking to the city creating a heavy surcharge for the cherished drink, eventually introducing it to the mainland of Europe as well. The Venetian botanist-physician Prospero Alpini became the first to publish a description of the coffee plant in Europe, introducing the first coffee house apart from those in the Ottoman Empire and in Malta was opened in Venice in 1645.
The first coffee house in Austria opened in Vienna after the battle of Vienna utilizing the supplies obtained after defeating the Turks. Melange is the traditional Viennese coffee which is typically mixed with hot foamed milk and a glass of water, as well as helping to popularize the common practice of adding sugar and milk to the beverage.
In Germany, coffeehouses were first initiated in the North Sea ports including Bremen and Hamburg. Initially, the Germans starting using the English form of coffee, but gradually adopted the French word café, and finally settling on their own German word of kaffee as it still currently stands. By the 18th century, the reputation of coffee had spread around Germany and was observed and consumed by the upper classes, being served at the courts having the first public coffee shop open in Germany’s capital, Berlin, in 1721.
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