Scott Wickstein writes this on Samizdata:
The ambience of a coffee house generates rational discussion. Many of the key figures of the 18th Century Enlightenment honed their ideas around Java beans. Naturally, with coffee providing a stimulus, it is the natural clearinghouse of ideas for clever people, as sociable as a pub, but without the side-effects of a pint of ale.The culture of coffee beans was gradually displaced by tea in the tastes of English people in the 19th century, and coffee only gradually emerged as the favourite beverage of Americans.
Of course, it may or may not be a coincidence that since Starbucks was founded in 1971, technological change and artistic innovation based on the sort of 'grass-root' initative that Glenn Reynolds talks about in his new book has skyrocketed. And it continues to grow at an ever expanding rate. This has done a great deal to enrich our current post-industrial civillization, and the humble coffee bean has proven itself to be a great support for all manners of high culture.
Indeed! And if you think the brew at Charbuck's will make you smart, you should try Ristretto's. Is it any wonder roaster Din's best friend is a rocket scientist? We think not....