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The man who saved the West

Lviv-born, multi-lingual, spy-turned-merchant Yuri-Franz Kulchytsky helped save Vienna from Turkish capture during the second siege of the city in 1683. He achieved this by carrying crucial messages between the city and the reserves behind the Ottoman army. Thanks to his knowledge of the Turkish language and customs, he could walk through the Ottoman camp without drawing suspicion.After the battle, he was awarded the coffee beans looted from the fleeing Ottoman army and with these beans he opened Vienna's first coffeehouse, The Blue Bottle.

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How did the coffeehouses shape the Western world?

There is no other beverage in history of the humankind that helped create the world we live in today than coffee. Since its discovery about a thousand years ago, and since the first known coffeehouse was opened in Constantinople almost 500 years ago, coffee has played a crucial role in changing the dynamics of the societies and the lives of the people in the Western world. When two immigrants from Syria, named Shems and Hakem opened their coffeehouse in the busy Taht’ul Kale district of Constantinople in 1554, they probably did not expect that in the following centuries their idea would spread westwards and trigger some of the most important events and help create some of the most prominent institutions...

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The Turkish ambassador who introduced coffee to Paris

In the latter half the 17th century, desperate to rectify their deteriorating relationships with the Ottoman Empire, the French welcomed the Sultan's new ambassador to Paris with great enthusiasm. Suleiman Aga arrived in Paris with a company of 20 people, which included his servants, wifes and chief coffeemaker, Kirkor in August 1669.  We are not sure how much Suleiman Aga contributed to the political situation between the two countries, but he definitely left his mark in the high society of Paris. During his stay, Süleiman Aga's house which was decorated with the most lavish oriental furniture and textiles, his humorous conversations especially with his female guests and delicious coffee served to the guests became so popular that the people were...

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