Paris was introduced to coffee in 1669 by Hoşsohbet Nüktedan Süleyman Ağa, who was sent by Sultan Mehmet IV as ambassador to the court of King Louis XIV of France. Among the Ottoman ambassador’s possessions were several sacks of coffee, which he described to the French as a ”magical beverage”.
Süleyman Ağa swiftly became the darling of Parisian high society. The Parisian aristocracy saw it as a great honour to be invited to share a cup of Turkish Coffee with Süleyman Ağa, who regaled his guests with his pleasant wit and conversation. The ambassador related countless stories on the subject of coffee, which earned him the sobriquet of Hoşsohbet, or raconteur.
Paris’s first real coffeehouse, Café de Procope, opened in 1686. It soon became a favourite haunt of the literati, a place frequented by renowned poets, playwrights, actors and musicians. Many famous figures such as Rousseau, Diderot and Voltaire became enamoured with coffee at Café de Procope. Following the trend set by Café de Procope, coffeehouses opened on practically every street in the city.