Stuff you didn’t know about coffee: A gender agenda

Coffee hasn’t always been the social lubricant it is today – in fact, in the late 1600s there were major protests against its legal status in England. Protests led by women who claimed:

The fineprint claimed that coffee caused impotence, and that cafes kept men away from their family responsibilities. 

The ladies of the 1670s were pursuing their very own sexual revolution and coffee was in the firing line – and Charles II listened to their petition and shut down all the coffeehouses in England – which at that time refused service to women.

Eventually, 11 days later, the men posted a response, sanity prevailed and Charles II relented. 


The docu Black Coffee suggests that the women in this issue were ‘right’ when it came to the effects they were noticing in their husbands. However it wasn’t coffee that was the cause, rather the special service the lady ‘baristas’ offered.

I wonder if this conflict can somehow be worked into my Church History essay on the impact that Charles II’s reign had on religion in England.