Tea, Coffee and Chocolate. The boom of exotic drinks in 18th century Paris, exhibition

from 26 May 2015 to 27 September 2015

New flavours. Praised for their medical and therapeutic virtues, the "exotic" beverages, introduced in the 17th century in Europe became a real cornerstone of pleasure and social life during the 18th century. Drinks made with cocoa, coffee and tea - plants not grown in Europe - became an integral part of aristocratic and the upper middle class society following their official introductions to the courts of Europe. As an imported material, their high purchase price in the 17th and 18th centuries classed tea, coffee and chocolate as luxury goods and added to their image as prestigious items. This was reflected in items of furniture and tableware that were designed for the consumption of these new drinks. Porcelain tea sets and other beautiful and luxurious pieces were produced in specialised manufactories. The rise of these products also created a new need for places designed for the public consumption of these drinks, such as cafes, and new mealtime additions such as at breakfast and afternoon tea, that spread throughout society. This exhibition offers a new overview of these beverages and their entry into the rituals of everyday life, presenting works by many iconic 18th century artists such as Boucher and Chardin.