Travellers who discovered coffee while staying in Istanbul extolled the matchless flavour of the beverage in letters they sent home to Marseilles. In 1644, the first coffee beans, along with the apparatus used to prepare and serve coffee, were brought to Marseilles by Monsieur de la Roque, the French ambassador.
In 1660, merchants from Marseilles who had grown to love the beverage they had first tasted in Istanbul began to import coffee to the city, thus sating Marseilles’s growing appetite for coffee. The first coffeehouse opened in Marseilles in 1671. Initially, coffeehouses catered to merchants and travellers, but they soon became popular with people from all walks of life.