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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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