Coffee House – Seattle Coffee House Explodes! Since the 15th century, the coffee house (al-maqhah in Arabic, qahveh-khaneh in Persian or Kahvehane or kıraathane in Turkish) has served as a social gathering place in Middle Eastern countries where men assemble to drink coffee (usually Arabic coffee) or tea, listen to music, read books, play chess and backgammon, and perhaps hear a recitation from the works of Antar or from Shahnameh. In 1457 the first coffee house, Kiva Han, was opened in Istanbul, just four years after its conquest by the Ottomans. Coffee house in Mecca soon became a concern as places for political gatherings to the imams who banned them, and the drink, for Muslims between 1512 and 1524. In 1530 the first coffee house was opened in Damascus, and not long after there were many coffee houses in Cairo. In the 17th century, coffee appeared for the first time in Europe outside the Ottoman Empire, and coffee house were established and quickly became popular. The first coffee house in Western Europe appeared in Venice, due to the trafficks between La Serenissima and the Ottomans; the very first one is recorded in 1645. The first coffee house in England was set up in Oxford in 1650 by a Jewish man named Jacob in the building now known as “The Grand Cafe”. A plaque on the wall still commemorates this and the Cafe is now a trendy cocktail bar. Oxford’s Queen’s Lane Coffee House, established in 1654, is also still in existence today. The first coffeehouse in London was opened in 1652 in St
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