Here's a whole new insight on that part of the day so common we usually take it for granted. In 1511 the first of many decrees had been issued banning coffee consumption, but nothing could halt the spread of the drink. The replacement for morning soup originated in Abyssinia, and rapidly made its way via Mecca and Istanbul to nearly every country-a worldwide epidemic of coffeemania. Coffee plantations spread over four continents, and coffee became the subject of political and social conflict on an international scale. It also created a new institution: the coffee-house-a meeting place of the various social strata, creating a cultural forum. Coffee-houses from around the world and down the ages are introduced and described here in terms of their cultural and historical significance-the coffee stall, the taverne a la mode, the coffee salon, the Cafe-Konditorei, the luxury cafe, the political coffee-house, the artists' cafe, the proletarian coffee-house, the Nigr?cafe, coffee bar, jazz cafe, the cafe theater and many others. Pour your own steaming mug and take the time to enjoy this fascinating exploration.