Coffeehouse  

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"Media, as we know it, first emerged at the beginning of the eighteenth century. Papers, journals, broadsheets, all became widely available in the new created public space of the coffeehouse. [...] The popular market for art and literature liberated writers and artists from the need for court patronage. No longer having to please their sponsors, they could experiment, and speak out as brashly as they wished." --Ken Goffman via Counterculture Through the Ages, p. 162

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

A coffeehouse, coffee shop, or cafe (French/Spanish/Portuguese: café; Italian: caffè, German: Kaffeehaus) shares some of the characteristics of a bar, and some of the characteristics of a restaurant, but it is different from a cafeteria. As the name suggests, coffeehouses focus on providing coffee and tea as well as light snacks. In some countries, cafes more closely resemble restaurants, offering a range of hot meals, and possibly being licensed to serve alcohol. Many coffee houses in the Muslim world, and in Muslim districts in the West, offer shisha, powdered tobacco smoked through a hookah. In establishments where it is tolerated - which may be found notably in the Netherlands, in Amsterdam - cannabis may be smoked as well.

From a cultural standpoint, coffeehouses largely serve as centers of social interaction: the coffeehouse provides social members with a place to congregate, talk, write, read, entertain one another, or pass the time, whether individually or in small groups.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Coffeehouse" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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