The History of Coffee: The “Brew-haha” Continues- Politics and Religion

Image by Christoph from Pixabay

It would be sacrilege not to drink at least two cups of coffee to kick off this second article on the history of coffee. I do love a good pun. I pulled another “punny” by using the word “brew-haha”. I’m just going to bask in that for a wee moment. There. That was my moment, marked by a space. This will throw off Grammarly, Microsoft Word “review”, and the Editor(s) at the paper.

I take great pride in the mischief I create. It’s all I got, folks! Let us press further into the history of coffee and the “brew-haha”, it has created! I know all you grammarians are in a tisy that I misspelled brouhaha. But it was intentionally done to fit my pun.

Coffee culture almost ground out of history

Image by pisandspices from Pixabay

Before coffee got perking in Europe, it hit a bumpy road. Labeled a “Bitter invention of Satan” by local clergy, Pope Clement VIII was asked to intercede. He decided it was best to give the coffee a taste before rendering a verdict. Finding coffee to be a satisfying beverage, Pope Clement VIII gave his papal approval.

This was not the only attempt to put cold water on coffee. No sir! There were three other attempts to pull the plug:

  • Mecca banned coffee in 1511. Coffee is believed to stimulate radical thinking and hanging out! -Too bad todays younger folks can’t have a coffee/thinking problem. Perhaps coffee bars at local high schools are in order? Hmm… let me sip some coffee and think. :)-M
  • Murad IV, after claiming the Ottoman throne, quickly forbade coffee. Like all diabolical rulers (placing penalties for going against their rules), he crafted a penalty system for drinking coffee. The first offense was a sound beating. The second offense was your last- you were sewn into a leather bag, and thrown into the waters of Bosporus. -! M
  • Being brought up on beer, Frederick the Great of Prussia’s wrote a manifesto claiming beer was superior to coffee. He felt coffee interfered with the country’s beer consumption and touted beer as a delightful breakfast drink.- He probably owned the company that made the beer and wanted to keep sales up. -M

Filtering through Europe

Image by Dan Bui from Pixabay

Now free, coffee perks its way into the heart and minds of European citizens. Coffee drinking became fashionable, and coffee houses began springing up all over Europe. Coffee houses were nick-named “penny universities”. For the price of a penny, you received a cup of coffee and a free education from the discussions at the coffee house.

While you might think that the rich, elite were the only attendees of the coffee house, you would be wrong. All walks of life were in attendance at the local coffee house. Discussions about religion, politics and business abounded.

Lloyds of London is a fine example of a business that grew out of those coffee house conversations.

According to the National Coffee Association of USA (NCA), by the mid-17th century, Europe had over 300 coffee houses. That’s a great deal of knowledge flowing around Europe!

To tea or not to tea… that is the question

In the middle 1600s, the British brought coffee over to America. New Amsterdam, known now as New York, was the first to host this wonderful drink.

Tea was still king, but coffee slowly gained momentum. Once the famous tea tax hit, Americans revolted with the Boston Tea Party, and coffee took over tea’s throne.

Coffee – the favorite drink of the civilized world.”

Thomas Jefferson

Ain’t that the truth! Grumpy people are magically transformed to pleasant, functioning folk; once coffee is coursing through their veins. But that’s not you or I, is it?

The grind continues

Image by Andi Graf from Pixabay

It is fascinating to note the coffea bean plant was highly sought after. Trough missionaries, travelers, traders and colonists, coffee was planted around the world.

Gabriel de Clieu, a naval officer, obtained a coffea bean seedling from King Louis XIV of France. Gabriel took the seedling aboard his ship and kept it alive through a pirate raid. As well as an attempt to destroy the seedling by an evil saboteur.

Successfully landing on the island of Martinique, Gabriel planted the Coffea bean seedling, and it thrived. That one Coffea bean seedling grew into 18 million other Coffea bean trees! Thanks to one Coffea bean seedling, South America, Central America and the Caribbean were all populated with Coffea bean trees.

Friends, I am going to drop you off right here, and next week I will tell you about my amazing scone adventure. Then, I swing by and pick you back up for some more coffee talk!

Till next time. Here is to good food, good friends, and a great cup of coffee!


About Michele Bruxvoort

Michele Bruxvoort is sure to draw you in with her delightful sense of humor and love for living life.   She enjoys reading, repurposing,  as well as remodeling the family home with her husband. Drawing from her life experience as wife, mom, and follower of Jesus, Michele brings you a very honest and real perspective on life.  When you don't find her writing, you can find her mowing lawns, stocking shelves, taking care of her grandbaby and tackling her latest life adventure. Wisconsin native and empty-nester, she now makes her home with her husband of 27 years in the South West Prairie plains of Minnesota.

View all posts by Michele Bruxvoort

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