The Fruit and Wreath design is shown on this fluted coffee cup and saucer, dating from c1775-1780. Coffee cups usually formed a trio with teabowls and saucers in tea-services of the time. On its introduction into Britain in the mid 1600s, it was claimed that coffee, like chocolate and tea, was of great medical benefit. The rise of the coffee house provided an alternative to the inn and coffee drinking, seen as novel and fashionable, was soon adopted by the gentry in their own households and was viewed as a sign of social status. Coffee, chocolate and tea became the standard morning drinks for the gentry rather than beer and ale.