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Tea, coffee or chocolate?

The rise of exotic drinks in Paris in the 18th century
From 27 May to 27 September 2015

Praised for their medicinal and therapeutic properties, the so-called "exotic" drinks introduced in Europe in the 17th century became associated with the pleasures and high society of the 18th century.

Following their official introduction into European courts, these drinks originating from the cocoa tree, the coffee plant and the tea plant - foreign to Europe - became an integral part of aristocratic and upper middle-class social norms. As imports, the price of tea, coffee and hot chocolate in the 17th and 18th centuries made them luxury products and added a manifest image of prestige to their consumption, which was also marked by the appearance of furniture and accessories or services produced in factories. It also gave rise to public places for drinking - cafés- and new eating habits, such as breakfast and afternoon tea, which is progressively spread through society.
The exhibition is organized around three main themes - "Virtues and Dangers of Exotic Drinks", "Circles of Consumption" and "New Services" - and offers a new look at theses drinks that have become an integral part of our daily rituals. It displays works by various artists who are emblematic of the 18th century, such as Boucher and Chardin.

Curator : Rose-Marie Herda-Mousseaux, director of the musée Cognacq-Jay
Avec la scientifical collaboration of Patrick Rambourg, searcher and specialist of food and gastronomy history, and of Guillaume Séret, art historian specialist of the Sèvres china.

Discover the video of the exhibition : 

Exposition Thé, café ou chocolat? | Musée... par paris_musees


With support of :

Logo Cafés Richard       Logo Crédit Municipal                       

Practical information


Full rate: 7 €
Reduced rate : 5 €


Open from 10am to 6pm, from Tuesday to Sunday (Cash desk closing at 5:15pm). Closed on Mondays and Holidays.


Musée Cognacq-Jay
8, rue Elzevir
75 003 Paris

Museum is not accessible to people with reduced mobility.


Non - and visually impaired

Exhibition publications

Thé, café ou chocolat?

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Museum closure
Due to the health context, the Cognacq-Jay museum is currently closed.
The museum is preparing to reopen in July. More information coming soon.