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09-23-2014 Happy International Coffee Day!!!   Leave a comment

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I’ve been a coffee addict in a serious way since my time in the U.S. Army.  During those years my Army buddies and I drank a great quantity of what was called coffee.  It was strong and thick and black as night.  It was really just a poor man’s substitute for “speed.  It would keep you alert for hours on end while patrolling or carousing in the nearby villages until all hours.  It was as important to us as the food we ate and there was an endless supply available in the mess hall around the clock.

I returned to the states to resume my civilian life and within a  short time became a member of the Pennsylvania State Police.  The coffee was a little weaker but we drank it constantly as we patrolled both at night and during the day.  And no, donuts weren’t as prevalent as the media and stand-up up comics would lead you to believe.  It was all about the caffeine.

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I come by my coffee addiction honestly and it still remains an important part of my existence to this day.  Just as a point of information I feel the need to reiterate; I hate Starbucks.  They’ve made coffee a yuppie joke to those of us who are real coffee drinkers.

With International Coffee Day approaching on September 29 I thought you might find a little coffee trivia interesting since it’s been an important commodity for millions of people throughout the centuries.  Here we go. . .

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Once in the past, coffee was believed to be the devil’s drink. Pope Vincent III heard about it and decided to taste it. He enjoyed it so much he baptized it, saying "Coffee is so delicious it would be a pity to let the infidels (Muslims) have exclusive use of it."

Both the American Revolution and the French Revolution were born in coffee houses. The American Revolution was developed by patriots who were customers in the Green Dragon (some say it was the Green Lion) Public House in London.  The infamous French Revolution in 1789 was spurred on by Camille Desmoulins’s verbal campaign in coffeehouses.

  • Vincent Van Gogh was a big frequenter of the café society and famously said “I have tried to show the café as a place where one can go mad.”
  • An interesting Turkish law decreed that it was quite acceptable for a woman to ask for a divorce if her husband failed to provide her with adequate coffee rations.
  • Coffee was denounced by many religious leaders as the drink of Satan. Coffee houses were known as “hotbeds of sedition”. In the 1700’s many coffee houses were ordered to close.
  • There are 900 different flavors of Arabica. Complex and very volatile, they deteriorate if exposed to air and light.

The original blend called "Maxwell House" got its name from The Maxwell House Hotel, where it was first served in Nashville Tennessee in 1886 (also where Teddy Roosevelt was heard to say "good to the last drop", creating the Maxwell House slogan).

In 1732, at the height of his creative genius, Johann Sebastian Bach wrote the Cantata No. 211 or Coffee Cantata. It is considered by many to be a work of perfection.

In Turkey, bridegrooms were once required to make a promise during their wedding ceremonies to always provide their new wives with coffee. Failure to do so would be grounds for divorce (no pun intended).

  • The second most widely used product in the world after oil.
  • It is a living to more than 100 million people.
  • It is consumed at the rate of 1400 million cups per day.
  • The world’s second most popular drink after water.

Beethoven, a known coffee lover, was not only particular about his music. He was also particular about his coffee brew. He always wanted 60 beans for each cup of his coffee.

Today, there must be 10,000 coffee shops in Venice alone! (In the year 1763, there were already over 200 coffee shops in Venice)

Cappuccino derived its name due to its similarity in color to the robes of an order of Monks called the Capuchins.

Well-known performers such as Joan Baez and Bob Dylan began their careers performing in coffeehouses. Another singer, Lightnin’ Hopkins, complained about his woman’s neglect with her domestic situation because of her coffeehouse socializing in his 1969 song, Coffeehouse Blues.

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Well there you have it.  Every thing you always wanted to know about coffee but were afraid to ask.  It’s now time for me to get back to my new friend, the K-Kup coffee maker, for a hot and sweet cup of vanilla/biscotti.  Man that’s the cats ass.

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