Women’s petition against coffee 1674.

Women’s petition against coffee 1674.

From the 17th century on, the number of coffeehouses in London increased sharply (over 3,000 at the turn of the 18th century) as the “bitter gruel” became popular for its psychological effects. But what did those who didn’t drink coffee think of this new trend?

They hated it. And who were these people? Women. They hated it because they weren’t allowed in the coffeehouses – it was assumed they were prostitutes if they entered. In 1674, years of simmering resentment erupted into a volcano of fury that lead to the Women’s petition against coffee.

If only those gentlemen in the 17th century could buy a coffee subscription then they wouldn't have had to suffer the fury of their wives.