@fanime "Historians have now largely moved away from the bio-
logical essentialism that emphasises the tastiness of chocolate, addictiveness of
tobacco and the medicinal properties of cof ee or the economic determinism
that highlights increasing commercialisation in the age of mercantilism as the
primary cause for the dif usion and appropriation of these substances, toward
cultural functionalism that gives primacy to the social context in which they
were appropriated by local cultures." ← is this a comment on what historians currently think is most significant, i.e. are cultural forces now considered more powerful than economic in the appropriation of coffee etc.? Or is it a comment on what historians consider interesting, or under-researched; i.e. in the past they concentrated on economics or biological essentialism, and now they are more interested in other factors? (meant to send this to you but posted it instead!)
@fanime Conversely, it's the "heart" that desires neither coffee nor coffee-house, not the "hearth"!
@fanime Well, that was fascinating, thanks! What leapt out at me was the military café chain which doubled as a revolutionary network—I had an idea of the Turkish army's peculiar position in politics, but I had no idea it went back to the janissaries, and in some way survived their suppression! Should we be looking more closely into the ownership of Starbucks?
@fanime I like my coffee dark as the gulfs of deep space, leaving the γάλα to the star-way, so I guess I'll be hiding in the corner?
@sc3d Historians now consider the interpersonal relationships a greater factor than the economic in the popularity of coffee shops.
Still, I find it futile to argue which factor is 'primary' in creating an event. No story is linear, many conditions form any given reality, and it's impossible to measure their separate influence.
To me, it comes down to what is worth saying. The cultural aspect of coffee shops is more interesting because it was overlooked, it is less obvious, and more useful.
@fanime Thanks for the clarification. By "more useful", do you mean that the cultural aspect is "more useful" history? Or that the cultural aspect was more useful to the coffee house clients?