In the past, coffeehouses were more than a place to gossip with friends over lattes, rather they were buzzing centres of the latest news and ideas, as well as sites of serious debate, literary accomplishments, scientific dissections, and revolutionary or treasonous plots. As the lecture website states 'it was coffee, not tea, that built the British Empire'. An expert in the city's coffeehouse history, Dr. Matthew Green, leads an interactive guided tour of London's original coffeehouses on the third Saturday of every month. Actors, musicians, and a steady supply of coffee (brewed 18th century style) accompany the tour.
The lecture begins at the site of London's first coffeehouse, which opened in 1652. From there you travel through London's medieval streets, visit original coffeehouses in Cornhill, Cheapside, St Paul's, Fleet Street, and finish the tour at Church of St-Stephen's-at-Walbrook.
This part historical and part dramatic lecture involves duels, live debates, story-telling, and discussion of all the wild activities that took place at coffeehouses over the years. For the history buff and the coffee connoisseur, this caffeinated walk and talk event is a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon.