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Compare Coffee Houses to Private Social Clubs Discussion

1 reply

Durkhanai Saddiq

In today’s society, I would compare coffee houses to private social clubs. They signify aristocracy, define class, and offer privacy.


In the 17th/18th. centuries, coffee houses were popular locations for citizens to read, debate, discuss the latest news, etc. Coffeehouses were also platforms for innovation and business. Economist Adam Smith wrote his masterpiece, “The Wealth of Nations” in a British coffee house. It was not unusual for strangers to stumble in to inquire about the latest news. Today, in the digital age, people in coffee houses are isolated. Most people order their coffee, sit on their own, and tune out from their surroundings so they can focus on what they and they only want to do. Interestingly, many coffee shops shunning internet usage in an effort to encourage face-to-face conversation.

The demographics in today’s coffee houses are different than what they were in the 17th/18th centuries. Coffee houses were mostly for upper-class males; today’s coffee houses are frequented by people of all genders, races, ages, etc. The average U.S. coffee drinker consumes 2.7 cups per day, with the average size of a cup measuring 9 oz, spending about $1100 on coffee a year.

The patrons of coffee houses then were not necessarily concerned with the taste of the coffee; instead, they enjoyed the status it gave them. In today’s society, there is no status to be gained by visiting, just a cup of coffee and a place to plug in.


Coffee shops offer similar items as in the past; coffee, espresso, latte, and small bites of food. Also, coffee houses still welcome people who want to enjoy a cup of hot coffee and read the news. Today, coffee is a $36 billion industry in America. Importing coffee beans is still as big a business as it was in the 17th century.

History of Coffee in America: From Colonial Days to Your Cup

Coffeehouses of the 1600’s the precursor to today’s social networking


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