Many of us associate coffee with mornings. It's the thing that we need to kickstart the day. But it has been shown that the best time to drink coffee isn't even right when you get up. Because of the chemistry in your brain, it's actually a few hours later, when the coffee gives you its full effects.
So, why did we even start drinking coffee in the morning?
Well, it was better than alcohol in the morning.
The introduction of coffee to Europe has been said to have helped in the sobering of the "alcohol-soaked" continent, the caffeinated drink replacing alcoholic libations, which were often consumed even in the morning.
Different social circles in different countries obviously had various traditions of what they consumed for their morning beverage, but there are many references to alcoholic and fermented drinks throughout history. The Romans ate bread soaked in wine, British soldiers in the 1890s are said to have kicked off their days with rum and tea, children in the US used to drink hard cider, and in Germany, a beer soup was the morning drink of choice.
The arrival of coffee in the late 1700s and then in the early 1800s, as it went from a drink for the upper echelons of society to something more democratized, completely changed Europe. As Mark Pendergast writes in Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How it Transformed the World, "the drink of the aristocracy had become the necessary drug of the masses."