This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
For menus: "Coffee! O coffee! Faith, it is surprising, 'Mid all the poets, good and bad and worse, Who've scribbled (Flock and China eulogizing) Post and papvrus with 'immortal verse' - Melodiously similitudinizing In Sapphics languid or Alcaics terse - No one, my little brown Arabian berry, Hath sung thy praises - 'tis surprising, very!"
"In 1652 the first coffee-house was opened in Newman's Court, Cornhill, London, by a Greek named Pasquet. This man was the servant of an English merchant named Edwards, who brought some coffee with him from Smyrna, and whose house, when the fact became known, was so thronged with friends and visitors to taste the new beverage that, to relieve himself from annoyance, Edwards established his servant in a coffee-house. Once tasted, coffee | sprang into popular and imperishable favor, and it is curious to refer back to the opinions expressed concerning it by wits and dignitaries at different periods. "If you want to improve your understanding, drink coffee," said Sydney Smith. Sir James Mackintosh professed that he believed the difference between one man and another was produced by the quantity of coffee he drank. Pope was among confirmed coffee-drinkers, often calling up his servant in the middle of the night to prepare a cup for him. It was the custom in his day to grind and prepare it upon the table, of which practice he gives the following details in verse:
For lo! the board with cups and spoons is crowned,
The berries crackle, and the mill turns round;
On shining altar of Japan they raise.
The silver lamp; the fiery spirits blaze.
From silver spouts the grateful liquors glide,
While China's earth receives the smoking tide.
At once they gratify their sense and taste,
And frequent cups prolong the rich repast.
Coffee! which makes the politician wise,
And see through all things with his half-shut eyes.'>
"From the Spectator we learn who frequented the houses, and the 'Grecian,' 'squire's,' 'searle's' have become immortal. In Queen Anne's time, so it is said, there were three thousand coffee-houses. It was 'Will's' coffee-house, William Urwin being the proprietor, of No. 1 Bow Street, which was 'sacred to polite letters.' Pope frequented Will's, as did Steele. Tickell, Budgell, Prior, Gage and Halifax went to Button's coffee-house in Covent Garden. Then, too, 'Garroway' was headquarters for surgeons and apothecaries, as ' Child's ' was the haunt of the physicians. Sir Isaac Newton was in a brown study at the Grecian. Swift sought the 'st. James,' and it was at' Lloyd's' where the placid Addison sometimes sipped his coffee. With the coffee-houses sprang in opposition the chocolate-houses, the most celebrated of which were 'White's' and 'The Cocoa Tree.' The taverns of the time of Queen Anne were thronged. Good people cracked their bottles there and dined and supped, and bullies kicked the drawer and invented new oaths and curses. 'The Devil and the Dragon,' 'The Rummer,' 'Crown and Anchor,' 'The Mitre,' 'The Cock,' immortalized by Tennyson; 'The Boar's Head,' 'The Three Cranes,,' drew many gallant fellows together in the first half of the last century".
" Yes, the wine's a wayward child - This the cup that ' draws it mild.' Deeply drink the stream divine; Fill the cup, but not with wine - Potent port or fiery sherry. For this milder cup of mine Crush me Yemen's fragrant berry".
" It contains sufficient stimulating properties to re -store an exhausted system without having the power to intoxicate. Even in its early days an old writer of the seventeenth century claims for the beverage this virtue when he thus quaintly descants upon its various merits: 'surely it must needs be salutifer-ous, because so many sagacious and the wittiest sort of nations use it so much. But besides its ex-siccant quality it tends to dry up the crudities of the stomach, as also to comfort the brain, to fortifie the sight with its steeme, and it is found already that this coffee-drink has caused a greater sobriety among the nations. For whereas formerly apprentices and clerks with others used to take their morning draft in ale, beer, or wine, which by the dizziness they cause in the head make many unfit for businesse, they use now to play the good-fellowes in this wakefull and civill-drink.' " - "A companion once remarked to Voltaire that coffee 'was a slow poison,' when the great wit and coffee-drinker replied: 'It must be very slow, for I have been drinking it for seventy years'.