Chole White has been presenting on the social culture of coffee houses and the history of coffee for nearly five years, traveling all over the Midwest to historical events, museums and schools telling the tale of how coffee became an integral part of our social fabric. White is the historian and proprietor of C Black Coffeehouse, the historical recreation of a coffeehouse that she displays at her demonstrations.
On February 9, White will give a free presentation on the history of coffee to area residents at the New London Public Museum. Visitors will be given the opportunity to immerse themselves in coffee by smelling, tasting and even grinding their own beans.
The history of this beverage mainstay dates all the way back to the 1600s, when it was first introduced to English speaking countries, and has brought people of diverse backgrounds together. White has studied the influence of contemporary coffee houses as well as those from the 18th century and discovered that not much has changed. People then and now use the coffee house as a place to relax, read the newspaper, listen to music or talk business with an associate.
“Coffee has had a social impact on how people are exposed,” White says. “The poor get exposed to newspapers. The wealthy who’ve been detached from society get to sit down and talk to an average blue collar worker.”
White’s presentation, which will detail how coffee has brought people together through social and food traditions, begins at 10:30am. Call the New London Public Museum at 982-8520 for more information.
—By Sonia Zimmerman