Cue: Ginny May goes on a journey through time to find out how coffeehouses began in London and what ‘coffee culture’ really means.

In: “I thought, the smell to the taste…”

Out: “…the difference of the type of coffee that they using.”


The journey starts in the 17th century and where better to find out about historical life, then at the Museum of London? Tour Guide Anneka Smith told us all about the first coffee house opening in London, the bad behaviour coffeehouse patrons that ended in some being banned from certain ones and having to open their own!

Dr Matthew Partington helps us on the next step of the journey; describing the era of the 1950’s coffeehouse and the advent of the espresso. We learn of the teens that flocked to these places and how this led to the ‘unique café basement’ Soho music scene.

Finally we come to Francesca Maine – Manager at Harris and Hoole who were actually two 17th century patrons of an original coffeehouse. She distinguishes between the modern independent coffeehouse and multinational branded chains and describes what coffee culture is, in a cup.

Members of the public help us on our way, telling us what ‘coffee’ is to them.

University of Westminster
309 Regent Street, London W1B 2UW
General enquiries: +44 (0)20 7911 5000
Course enquiries: +44 (0)20 7915 5511

The University of Westminster is a charity and a company limited by guarantee.
Registration number: 977818 England
Accessibility | Cookies | Terms of use and privacy