Coffee tables are such a common fixture of modern interiors today, that it’s hard to imagine life without them. It’s seldom that you’ll find a resident or commercial building anywhere in the world that doesn’t contain a coffee table of some sort, be it an office, company break room, living room, and lobby or waiting room. They are even used on terraces, patios, and decks.
The name “coffee table” actually explains it’s origin. In 1683, the Austrians defeated the Ottoman Empire in the Battle of Vienna, and the retreating army left behind sacks of what were thought to be “strange” green beans. They were coffee beans, and with so many of them, the inquisitive Viennese were curious and anxious to try some themselves. Thus, the first coffee houses in Europe were opened in the Austrian capital to sell this new and fashionable beverage. Coffee houses were proliferating and thriving as a place for the bourgeois and the enlightened to gather together and discuss politics and philosophy. These patrons needed a place to place their cup down between sips, and the coffee table was born.