Many authors and journalists have written about the connection between the movement of coffee into Europe and the Industrial Revolution and if there may be more than just a coincidence between the movement of this beverage and the extraordinary level of change and innovation seen in this period. Prior to the 16th century Europeans mainly drank alcoholic drinks, such as beer, which were the safest form of water consumption with fermentation making the water safe even in polluted cities. Coffee first moved to Europe in the mid 16th century, and coffee and tea quickly replaced beer in Europe as a most common beverage to keep people hydrated. But these drinks also proved a conduit for caffeine, which, as a milder drug than alcohol, had sobering and concentrating boosting effects, and arguably focussed the skills and cognition needed for the new tasks and way of thinking of the first industrial period. The operation of looms for example, would have been much easier after a coffee than a beer.
What do you think of this theory, could coffee have caused the Industrial Revolution?