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Our logo depicts a seated figure of Mercury** - the Greek Hermes - and is adapted from a book written in 1582 by Giordano Bruno: Dominican friar, scientist, and Hermetic scholar. We chose Mercury because he was revered throughout the Classical world as the patron of speed, movement, communication, social activity, and trade.
Coffee and tea are both stimulating beverages and are therefore "mercurial" in nature: They lift our spirits when jaded, and calm our minds when anxious. It's no wonder people have been enjoying them for centuries! The pursuit of these exotic plant substances in the 17th and 18th centuries spurred innovations in trade, technology, cultural exchange, and exploration - each of these endeavors falling under the domain of Mercury. Moreover, their consumption transformed cultures as well and by the 18th Century coffee houses and tearooms had become popular meeting places, fostering social and political engagement, even revolution. (That said, customers inclined to revolution are asked not to smash our crockery!)
The city of Historic New Castle, is closely bound to our nation's early history of trade and revolution. Outwardly, our city appears untouched by time, although its heart beats to the drum of change. It is why people from all over the world visit this early American settlement. The Mercury Cafe's home in the William Penn House (circa 1682) stands in the very heart of Historic New Castle. It has stood here, steadily but continuously changing, for over three centuries. Our hope is that the ever-evolving and "Mercurial" spirit of this important building continues to serve as an uplifting and stimulating gathering place for our community and for those who visit the amazing city of Historic New Castle.
Welcome to the Mercury Cafe and Teahouse!
**Some folks have asked us why Mercury is shown holding the symbol of medicine. The answer is that he isn't! He's holding his caduseus or herald's staff which was not associated with medicine until 1902. Up until modern times the symbol for medicine was always the staff of Asclepious, the god of healing, which has only one snake. You can read more about the mix-up of symbols here.
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