CoffeeMany nations were involved in discovering, importing and exporting this magical new drink. France was a pioneer, with its group of travellers and traders who were among the first to believe in the virtues and above all the potential of coffee beans.
Pierre de la Roque went to Constantinople and afterward traveled into the Levant. Upon his return to Marseilles in 1644, he brought with him some coffee and all the little implements used about it in Turkey, which were then looked upon as great curiosities in France.
In 1660 several merchants of Marseilles, who had lived for a time in the Levant and felt they were not able to do without coffee, brought some coffee beans home with them. The Lyons merchants soon followed suit, and the use of coffee became general in those parts. In 1671 certain private persons opened a coffee house in Marseilles.
in 1669, Soliman Aga, the Turkish ambassador from Mohammed IV to the court of Louis XIV, had arrived in Paris. He brought with him a considerable quantity of coffee, and introduced the coffee drink, made in Turkish style, to the French capital. The ambassador remained in Paris from July, 1669, to May, 1670, long enough firmly to establish the custom he had introduced. Two years later, Pascal, an Armenian, opened his coffee-drinking booth at the fair of St.Germain, and this event marked the beginning of the Parisian coffee houses.
The first merchant licensed to sell coffee in France was one Damame François, a bourgeois of Paris, who secured the privilege through an edict of 1692. He was given the sole right for ten years to sell coffees and teas in all the provinces and towns of the kingdom, and in all territories under the sovereignty of the king, and received also authority to maintain a warehouse.
To Santo Domingo (1738) and other French colonies the café was soon transported from the homeland, and thrived under special license from the king.