On average in the west coffee consumption is about a third to that of tap water. After petroleum, coffee is the second-most traded commodity in the world. Over 7 million metric tons are produced annually. The market in the UK recorded a 6.4 per cent increase in sales in 2013 and there were 16,501 coffee shops across the country by the end of last year. Despite fifteen years of rapid expansion, Britain's coffee-shop sector still remains one of the most successful in the UK economy and will continue to expand. Coffee shops are part of the fabric of our society now.This book brings together the facts and ephemera relating to this globally crucial beverage, to examine its origins and the stories of its discovery, production and consumption through time. In doing so it shines an illuminating light on British social history and the social histories of other countries, either as producers or as consumers.