Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Social Life of Coffee: The Emergence of the British Coffeehouse” as Want to Read:
The Social Life of Coffee: The Emergence of the British Coffeehouse
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Social Life of Coffee: The Emergence of the British Coffeehouse

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  71 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
What induced the British to adopt foreign coffee-drinking customs in the seventeenth century? Why did an entirely new social institution, the coffeehouse, emerge as the primary place for consumption of this new drink? In this lively book, Brian Cowan locates the answers to these questions in the particularly British combination of curiosity, commerce, and civil society. Co ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published November 11th 2005 by Yale University Press (first published November 1st 2005)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Social Life of Coffee, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Social Life of Coffee

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Anders
Feb 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Hmmm... I read this for a class looking at social change through the lens of the rise of coffee & sugar. This book documents an important development, the rise of coffeehouses and the attendant shifts in the modes and meanings of coffee consumption, and specifically the public performances of such. Cowan's argument is problematic in that he grants basically all the agency in the rise of coffee culture to this supposedly fully formed class, the virtuosi, an argument I found sort of vaguely un ...more
Rebecca
May 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"Hard at it is for us today to imagine a world without coffee, it was even ahrder for early modern Britons to imagine what a world with coffee would be like. it is a testament to their flexible imaginations that they succeeded in creating a coffee world of their own." (p. 263)

I don't even like coffee and I found this study absolutely fascinating. How coffee could grow into something so fundamental in 17th century Britain, when it was unknown before, the growth of the British coffeehouse and the
...more
Miriam
Oct 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, culinary
"To learn why and how seventeenth-century English consumers came to desire a strange new drink such as coffee can take us a long way toward understanding the origins of the consumer revolution of the long eighteenth century... Curiosity, commerce, and civil society provide the three major themes through which this book explores the rise of coffee and coffeehouses."
Sarah Hoffman
Jun 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: academic
This is a pretty in-depth economic and social history of coffee and proves my point - I'll read anything if it has food in it. It's actually a pretty easy read though and I learned some interesting things. I recommend this one.
Orlando
Interesting but dense and unnecessarily long

Interesting summary of the adoption of coffee in British life and the subsequent rise of coffee houses. But the text was pretty dry and the book was longer than what it needed to be to get across its core ideas.
Jeff
Feb 10, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food-drink
Ok, it is not really about coffee, but rather a spirit of adventure crossed by moderately rebellious college students blended with professional scholars and the social mores that grew alongside the loosely defined coffeehouse.
nanto
buku menarik. info awalnya dari tulisan di blog ini.
Jon
Apr 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
Really entertaining and interesting study on the origins of the coffeehouse in Britain.
Roger Dean
rated it liked it
Oct 24, 2017
Alfie
rated it liked it
Aug 19, 2016
Kirstin
rated it really liked it
Mar 11, 2013
Urn
rated it really liked it
May 10, 2013
Reena Koshy
rated it liked it
Nov 04, 2017
Bonnie Soper
rated it really liked it
Sep 29, 2015
Brooks
rated it liked it
Jun 10, 2013
Rob Kranski
rated it liked it
Jul 14, 2014
Joooordan! !!!
rated it really liked it
Feb 24, 2014
Sarah
rated it really liked it
Feb 13, 2016
Brian Cowan
rated it it was amazing
Nov 06, 2013
Djenn Kenaz
rated it really liked it
Dec 12, 2007
Mate
rated it it was amazing
Jan 21, 2017
Biggie
rated it really liked it
Jun 21, 2009
Matthew
rated it it was amazing
Aug 30, 2012
Mosyafa Kautsar
rated it liked it
Dec 30, 2014
itnorris
rated it really liked it
Apr 12, 2015
Barbara Halla
rated it liked it
Jul 05, 2014
Cecilia Dunbar Hernandez
rated it it was amazing
May 29, 2016
Kamilla
rated it liked it
Jul 11, 2017
T. Neil
rated it really liked it
Apr 16, 2015
Sarah P
rated it it was amazing
Nov 15, 2015
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Coffee House: A Cultural History
  • Birth, Marriage, and Death: Ritual, Religion, and the Life Cycle in Tudor and Stuart England
  • Coffee: A Dark History
  • The Story of Tea: A Cultural History and Drinking Guide
  • An Imperial Possession: Britain in the Roman Empire, 54 BC - AD 409
  • Court Lady and Country Wife: Two Noble Sisters in Seventeenth-Century England
  • Words to Eat By: Five Foods and the Culinary History of the English Language
  • Potato: A History of the Propitious Esculent
  • Liquid Jade: The Story of Tea from East to West
  • The Devil's Cup: A History of the World According to Coffee
  • The Fruit Hunters: A Story of Nature, Obsession, Commerce, and Adventure
  • A History of Roman Britain
  • Pickled, Potted, and Canned: How the Art and Science of Food Preserving Changed the World
  • Bittersweet: The Story of Sugar
  • Fresh: A Perishable History
  • The First Bohemians: Life and Art in London's Golden Age
  • Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking
  • London: A Life in Maps