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Coffee did not become known in Europe until the early 1700’s. The dark brew was considered vile and addictive, yet coffee houses sprang up as word of mouth shared the latest discovery.

The gatherings at coffee houses were the first signs to the establishment that they might be losing control of the masses. Preachers railed against the devil’s potion as public opinion was whipped into a froth. Johann Sebastian Bach was inspired to write his only operatic work, the Coffee Cantata, as a satirical comedy about coffee addiction.

An excerpted video version is available on YouTube.

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