Coffeehouses and Coffee Shops

The coffeehouse, cafe, and coffee shop all serve the public a commodity, but they are also physical spaces that serve to structure the social order by governing behaviors, values, and ideas. Within a given culture or society, coffeehouses are places to meet in order to discuss new ideas regarding politics, often outside the dominant culture, as well as attitudes toward class and community. Coffee, as a commodity and a drug, has been interpreted differently than other beverages, as were the places in which it has been consumed. As the coffee bean and the coffeehouse became globalized, people have given varying meanings to the establishments, according to place, time, and need. This entry examines coffeehouses as an institution and the meaning of coffee drinking in ...

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