· 1554 Constantinople's citizens become the first to patronise houses selling coffee.
· 1652 Refined arabica coffee arrives in Britain. It was drunk black and without sugar, and the first shop was reputedly opened in Oxford.
· 1660s Coffee houses in Britain become a social phenomenon and are dubbed 'penny universities'. A single penny bought you a coffee and time to scan the latest newsletters posted on the walls.
· 1665 Samuel Pepys recorded nearly 100 visits he made to coffee houses.
· 1688-98 Some houses became a hub for commerce where information was exchanged. Jonathan's Coffee House in Change Alley brimmed with stockbrokers - and eventually became the London Stock Exchange.
· 1700s Coffee houses begin to fall out of favour.
· 1930s-40s Two world wars and a social revolution revive cafe society in the UK. A migrant influx still nostalgic for coffee houses sets up cafes such as The Cosmo in Hampstead, London.
· 1971 Starbucks opens its first outlet in Seattle. The name derives from a character in Moby Dick
· 1998 King's Road in Chelsea becomes the first location for Starbucks in the UK, selling cappuccino or mocha latte at £2.
· 2000 The UK coffee shop market rockets with daily sales of 4.4m cups. Coffee-selling becomes a billion-pound industry, with UK-owned chains such as Caffe Nero and Costa Coffee offering stiff competition.
· 2006 The Starbucks empire grows to 12,500 outlets and £4bn in revenue.
[From The Observer article]