View of a Turkish Coffeehouse on Postcards for Foreigners
A Cup of Coffee - A Special Memory of 40 Years
Yapı Kredi Publications

Coffee and the Industrial Revolution

Coffee’s rise in popularity was accomplished and its continuation assured by the Industrial Revolution starting in the 1700s in England, and the 1800s in other parts of Europe and spreading to North America. The development of the factory system changed lifestyles, attitudes and eating habits. Formerly, many people had worked in cottage workshops. In the use of their time no clear-cut separation between work time and free time was made and most of them were their own bosses. They would start with soup for breakfast and generally ate five times a day.

Along with the appearance of textile mills and iron works, workers immigrated to cities where the working class lived in very poor conditions. When women and children entered into organized labor there was less time for housework and cooking. Yet while they were still trying to put order in the home and work they were paid a lower wage for their work. For this reason, European craft workers at the beginning of the 19th Century were practically subsisting on coffee and bread, for coffee was stimulating and hot and furnished an illusion of nourishment.

One historian wrote that the workers who sat at the looms for long hours without stopping just to earn a few pennies to stay alive had no time for long preparation of food for lunch or dinner. And a light coffee was drunk as a stimulus to curb, if only briefly, the ache in a hungry stomach. The drink of the aristocracy had turned the masses into compulsory addicts and the morning coffee had replaced soup at breakfast.

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