The benefits of drinking coffee are widely known and often shared, (especially by those who sell coffee). Academic health studies have shown coffee drinkers tend not to die early from a range of diseases.
Through the ages people and industries have profited from these benefits. French writer and philosopher Voltaire is said to have liked drinking 40 to 50 cups of coffee every day – which might go some way to explaining how he wrote more than 20,000 letters and more than 2,000 books.
Lloyd’s Coffee House lay the foundations for another story of phenomenal industry. Opened by Edward Lloyd in around 1688, the coffee house was popular with sailors, merchants and shipowners, because Lloyd himself offered reliable shipping news. As a result, the shipping industry community often congregated at the coffee house to discuss insurance deals.
Shortly after Christmas 1691 the coffee shop moved to Lombard Street, where merchants continued to discuss insurance matters until 1774, a long time after Lloyd’s death in 1713. Members of the insurance arrangement formed a committee and moved to the Royal Exchange on Cornhill as the Society of Lloyd’s.
To cut an already longish story not that much shorter, this committee gradually evolved into Lloyd’s of London, which today is a prestigious insurance market located in the City of London’s financial district.
The spooky thing is that, from the outside, if you squint at Lloyds of London, it sort of looks like a supermassive coffee machine.