History of London Coffee Houses

Randalls Coffee House is an independent coffee house, and as such shares much in common with London’s wonderful centuries old traditional café culture before the mass arrival of coffee house chains in the last decades or so.
The first coffee house in London was opened in 1652 in St Michael’s Alley, Cornhill. The proprietor was Pasqua Rosée, the servant of a trader in Turkish goods named Daniel Edwards, who imported the coffee and assisted Rosée in setting up the establishment in St Michael’s Alley, Cornhill.
From 1670 to 1685, Londoners developed a taste for coffee and the number of coffee-houses began to multiply, and also began to gain political importance due to their popularity as places of debate. By 1675, there were more than 3,000 coffeehouses in England.
Pasqua Rosée also established the first coffee house in Paris in 1672 and held a city-wide coffee monopoly until Procopio Cutò opened the Café Procope in 1686. This coffeehouse still exists today and was a major meeting place of the French Enlightenment; Voltaire, Rousseau, and Denis Diderot frequented it, and it is arguably the birthplace of the Encyclopédie, the first modern encyclopedia.