Coffee was first used in Ethiopia in the 10th century, in Yemen (Arabia) in the 15th century, the Middle East in the 16th century, and then finally it arrived in Europe.
You might have guessed that, by then, coffee had acquired quite a reputation. The Christians in Europe were told that it was an evil drink and referred to it as “Satan’s drink”.
But, there was a problem with coffee! It tasted so delicious, and some thought that it also improved one’s health.
The head of the Catholic Church in Rome, Pope Clement VIII, his papacy was from 1592 to 1605, decided to do something about coffee dilemma. Why should the infidels have exclusive use of it, he thought, so he baptized coffee.
Coffee quickly caught on in Europe, and the first coffee houses appeared in Vienna Austria in 1600, and then in England in 1652. The unfortunate part to this success story, was, that women were not allowed to enter the coffee houses, unless of course, they were serving it to men.
The popularity of coffee could not be stopped. It had great taste and people believed that it had healing properties. It seemed that the English, who consumed coffee, appeared to be happier. Some thought that it removed the sour vapors left in the brain, after drinking liquor and wine. Did it really take headaches away?
By the 1700’s, if Europeans could afford coffee, they were drinking it, even the women. No one could keep away from the rich, black nectar of the gods! Not only did women begin to brew their own coffee at home, but many coffee houses opened and poets, artists, politicians, and aristocrats gathered frequently to exchanges great ideas.
It got to the point where everyone was drinking it, and, in retrospect, some of those someone’s became very, very influential through the course of human history. Here are some of the most…
FAMOUS COFFEE DRINKERS THROUGHOUT HISTORY!!!
#1 – Søren Kierkegaard
Søren Kierkegaard was a Danish philosopher, who drank a lot of coffee in a very weird way.
Kierkegaard would pour sugar into a coffee cup, until it was piled high above the rim.
Then, he poured extremely strong, black coffee over the white sugar. Soren gulped it down in one go! The Beastie Boys were probably talking about him in the song Intergalactic when they rap, “I like my sugar with coffee and cream”.
#2 – Honoré de Balzac
Honoré de Balzac, a French novelist who lived from 1799 to 1850, drank coffee all day long.
Apparently, he woke around 1 a.m. and began to write until about 4 p.m.
He did take a brief nap in the day at some point. Balzac believed that he was able to write for such long periods without a break, because of the coffee. That’s right, he owed it all to THE COFFEE!!!
#3 – Louis XV
Louis XV, who lived at the Versailles palace in France in the 1700’s, actually grew his own coffee plants and beans in his royal green house.
He hand picked the beans, roasted them and ground them himself.
Coffee was served to his palace guests.
#4 – Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan was an American actor and politician in the 1980’s.
He became the 40th President of the United States and once share his words of wisdom with the media. Reagan was a big fan of coffee, but not around lunchtime. “I never drink coffee at lunch. I find it keeps me awake for the afternoon.”
Reagan even had something called Operation Coffeecup, where women’s coffee clubs and neighborhood drop-ins were organized as a way to do battle with Medicare. It really has less to do with coffee, and more to do with a political agenda, but it would be fair to say that the agenda was helped along by coffee…and probably doughnuts! Hear Reagan’s impassioned speech here:
#5 – Theodore Roosevelt
Reagan wasn’t the first American politician to be taken by coffee’s subtle wonders. America has been obsessed with coffee for hundreds of years. There seems to be a coffee establishment on every corner. America even has coffee competitions.
Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States, was also a big fan of the black brew. He helped the Maxwell House Coffee company come up with their famous slogan, “Good to the last drop.”
Someone once reported that Roosevelt drank about a gallon of coffee a day. That sounds like a lot of coffee. Apparently, he also shared his love for coffee with the famous American, Andrew Jackson.
#6 – Thomas Jefferson
Alrighty, this time we’re going to get a bit crazy and hit you with some bullet points about one of our founding fathers…
- He referred to coffee as his favorite drink of the civilized world
- He preferred beans imported from the East and West Indies
- His cellar was stocked with barrels of beans that were not roasted
- Coffee was served to him at breakfast and after dinner in a silver urn
- He was probably drinking coffee when he wrote, “The Declaration of Independence”
#6 – Johann Sebastian Bach
It seems that the most famous coffee drinker of them all, was Johann Sebastian Bach. He wrote a cantata for coffee, which was a treatise on the place of coffee in daily life.
A cantata is a story, presented in several movements, that is told through song, and accompanied with instruments and a choir.
Bach’s coffee cantata tells the story of a father, who wants his daughter to give up coffee, so she can marry. Apparently, the daughter finds a suitor, who is also addicted to coffee, and they all live happily ever after. The father, his daughter, and her new suitor, sing together about the benefits of coffee!