The Coffee House: A Cultural History

The Coffee House: A Cultural History - Markman Ellis I was not particularly impressed by this book. The idea behind it, a history of the coffee house, does sound interesting, but the book itself is a very slow and dry read. A lot of the late 17th century into the 18th in Britain, when the coffee houses were flourishing, simply does not make for engaging reading. At least not with this author who seems to get bogged down in a lot of minutia that is honestly not very interesting. The book will then move to how the coffee houses lost their appeal in favor of other establishments such as the cafes in continental Europe ending with the sad conclusion of today's very sanitized and homogeneous chain stores (i.e. Starbucks), where by now, any semblance of the spirit of community, debate, and intellectualism of the coffee houses has been made extinct. Overall, I think this book could have been a lot better, but it simply drags on and on. To be honest, this book might have made an interesting essay or two someplace, but it feels stretched. If you want a history of coffee (overall, not just the coffee house), there are better books out there. Same if you are interested in Starbucks, which I am not personally.I will be seeking the other coffee books out. This particular book is one I am not recommending.