In the Western world, coffee consumption is around one-third that of tap water. After petroleum, coffee is the second-most traded commodity in the world. Over 7 million metric tons are produced annually. By the end of 2015, Great Britain had more than 20,000 coffee shops across the country, and even after fifteen years of rapid expansion, Britain's coffee-shop sector still continues to grow. Despite the fact that a pope once called it `the devil's drink', there is a jar in every kitchen and it is a fact of life that drinking coffee is here to stay.
Whether you drink instant or fresh, decaff or espresso, this book brings together the facts and ephemera relating to this globally crucial beverage, examining its origins and the stories of its discovery, its production and its growing popularity over time. In doing so it shines a light on coffee's important place in British life.
Paul Chrystal was educated at the Universities of Hull and Southampton where he took degrees in Classics and wrote his MPhil thesis on attitudes to women in Roman love poetry. He appears regularly on BBC local radio the World Service. He is the author of over fifty books on a wide range of subjects, including histories of northern places, social histories of tea and of chocolate, a history of confectionery in Yorkshire and various aspects of classical literature and Roman history.