What is the origin of cafe? The original Café Procop in Paris

In the 17th century, when coffee was introduced to Europe, coffee houses became popular in England, and the first coffee boom occurred in Europe.
In England, a tea culture later developed, and today there is no impression that coffee culture is very popular.

On the other hand, Paris, France still has a strong image of cafe culture.
I would like to take a look at the history of coffee being introduced to Paris and the opening of cafes.

Coffee vendor “Le Candio” and Armenians

It is said that the first person to open a coffee shop in Paris was an Armenian named Pascal. It was in 1672, in the second half of the 17th century.
Pascal's shop, a temporary hut that operated at the regular market in Saint-Germain, also provided Oriental-style smoking supplies and gained a reputation for unusual exotic tastes. Riding on this success, Pascal opened a store on the Right Bank of the Seine, in what is now Quai du Louvre, followed by other Armenians such as Maliban and Persian Grégoire, who opened similar oriental-style stores, but these were not very successful. It is said that he did not.

Around the same time, coffee vendors wearing Armenian clothing called ``Le Candio'' could be seen selling pots of Hikaru in the streets. Coffee, which had already begun to be drunk in the imperial court and salons, gradually became popular in the streets of Paris.

The original cafe "Cafe Procop" has finally appeared

Under these circumstances, Café Procop, the prototype of many Parisian cafes, finally appeared.
Café Prokop opened in 1686.
Café Procop is currently open in the same location as at the time (currently it is not a cafe but a restaurant. The Shin at the top of the article is also the same)
Prokop's luxurious Versailles-style interior, complete with marble tables, chandeliers, and large mirrors, was completely different from the Oriental-style shops of the time, and it gained great acclaim. It is said that these luxurious interiors, which were designed for the upper class, attracted middle class and wealthy people who admired the upper class. A wide variety of people visited this store, from aristocrats to actors.

This store was founded by a man of Italian descent named Francesco Procopio di Cortelli. There are theories that he was born in Sicily or Florence, but he is said to have started his career as a candio at Pascal's restaurant, which I mentioned earlier.

The location is on Fosse Saint-Germain (currently L'Ancienne Comedie) on the left bank of the Seine, opposite Pascal's store. Surprisingly, a restaurant with the same name still operates in this location. This area was already a busy downtown area at the time, and in 1689 the Comédie Française (theatre) moved across the street, making it very crowded with theater workers and theatergoers. It is said to have been patronized by playwrights such as Fontenelle and Crébillon, and actors such as Renard.

A cafe that symbolizes the era of enlightenment

It is said that a major reason for Prokop's success was that it provided not only theater patrons but also a place for people to interact intellectually, much like a coffee house in London. Until then, the main places for people to interact were closed salons or places that served alcohol such as cabaret or taverne, but Prokop became a new social interaction space suitable for the ``century of reason.''
Newspapers and pamphlets were hung up the fireplace chimney to provide information and social information to guests.
Voltaire et al., encyclopedia meeting

In the 18th century, the ``Century of Reason,'' Prokop gathered together enlightened intellectuals, including Voltaire, and is known for playing a major role in the establishment of the ``Encyclopedia,'' which is said to be the greatest cultural project of the century. Poets and writers such as Jean-Baptiste Rousseau gathered there, as well as encyclopedists such as Voltaire, Diderot, d'Alembert, Buffon, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

Later, during the French Revolution, Jacobins such as Danton, Marat, Robespierre, and Desmoulins frequented the school. By the way, the list of customers in the 19th century includes names such as George Sand, Balzac, Anatole France, Huysmans, and Verlaine, but it seems that the company was unable to regain the momentum it had in the 18th century.

What was the menu offered at the first cafe?

So, what did Procop offer? First, of course, coffee, and a little later tea and cocoa (chocolate) are added. Soft drinks such as lemonade, candied fruits. Ice cream, sorbet, and liqueurs. This is an overview of the menu.

I couldn't find food, wine, or beer, but this was because the guild called Café-Limonadier, to which Procop belonged, was limited to soft drinks, liqueurs, candied drinks, and ice creams. . On the other hand, other guilds, such as rotisseurs (roast shops), tretours (offers stewed meat), and tavernes (wine + simple meals), cannot serve food that is served in a cafe, and the guilds in Paris operate in this way. I was doing it.

In addition to coffee, flavored soft drinks and liqueurs, and especially Sicilian cassata-style fruit and vanilla ice creams, were popular.

The non-alcoholic menu, including coffee, was used as an unprecedented space for rational discussion, similar to British coffeehouses. The success of Café Procop led to cafes opening all over Paris, and I would like to introduce more about this enthusiastic cafe culture in the next article.