Why is it a Coffee Table?

February 5, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Furniture 

Ah, the coffee table. We all have them.

But why are they called coffee tables?  

Why aren’t they called tea tables?  Or rather, why didn’t they start out being known as tea tables?  Tea was a lot more popular than coffee way back when.  I went to Wikipedia and didn’t find a whole lot…

Basically, coffee tables were designed as low tables and this idea may have been introduced from the Ottoman Empire, based on the tables in use in tea gardens.  See- tea gardens- so why weren’t they known as Tea Tables??  

Coffee wasn’t even introduced into Europe until the mid-1600s…

And it didn’t become popular here in the States until after the War of 1812,

and that was due to the British temporarily cutting off access to tea imports. 

So I understand why it is now known as a coffee table- people gather round and sit their coffee on it,

But why was it never known or referred to as a tea table?

It boggles the mind 😉




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