Coffee quotes

To know a thing measured, you must first know the scale.

Coffee has been considered the “soldiers drink” since Napoleon. In his time the French considered a coffee shortage as serious as an ammunition shortage.

As early as the 6th century, Arabs and Abyssinians were aware of the stimulating effects of coffee. Abyssinians crushed and ate the pulp and the Arabs made tea from the dried leaves and pulp. Neither roasted the seeds until about the 11th century when word got around that they had a great aroma when burnt.

“O coffee, thou dost dispel all cares, thou art the object of desire to the scholar.” -Arab poem-

“Send your taste buds on a journey.” Spongebob Squarepants

In 1258, Sheik Omar the legendary founder and patron saint of the port city of Mocha in Yemen, is introduced to coffee as a beverage in Ousab, Arabia.

In 1350, the first coffee pots invented. Persian, Turkish and Egyptian craftsmen all developed special ewers, made of pottery, for serving coffee.

In 1500, roasting and brewing became common and coffee houses started springing up in Arabia.

In 1511, Kair Bey, governor of Mecca issues a condemnation of coffee and prohibits the use of the drink because devotees were hanging out at coffeehouses instead of attending prayers at the Mosque. Bans on coffee never lasted long.

In 1534, religious fanatics denounce coffee in Cairo. When the chief judge held the hearing on the charges against coffee he tried a sample of the beverage and found in favor of the pro-coffee defenders.

In 1573, Rauwolf, a German physician and botanist makes a journey to the Levant and becomes the first European to be accounted with coffee and subsequently write about it in Western publication.

1601 Pope Clement orders a double, skinny, Caffe Latte and found it the perfect beverage to soften the rock-hard biscotti served by cappucin monks after mass.

1603 Captain John Smith, founder of Virginia colony refers to the Turk’s drink “coffa” in his book of travels. He may have been the first to bring coffee to America.

1614 The Dutch who have had some success in the business of cultivating tulips visit Arabia to examine the possibility of coffee cultivation.

1615 Coffee is introduced to Venice from which it seduces travelers from all Europe. It is popularly known as “the wine of Araby.”

1625 Sugar is used for the first time to sweeten coffee in Cairo. Although sugarcane was native to Indonesia it was introduced and thrived in Egypt.

1637 Coffee drinking is first introduced to England by an exchange student from Crete while he was attending college at Oxford.

1645 Coffee comes into general use in Italy but pisanos will have to wait until 1900 for the invention of the espresso machine by Pavoni.

1650 The first coffeehouse in England is opened at Oxford by Jacobs. A second opened four years later near Edmond Hall and Queen’s College corner.

1657 The French got their first taste of coffee when Jean de Thevenot privately introduces coffee in Paris.

1658 After forty years of considering the economic possibilities of the coffee trade, the Dutch begin cultivation in Ceylon.

1663 By royal decree all English coffee houses are required to be licensed. Guilds and taxation have caught up to coffee.

1670 The first attempts to grow coffee in Europe at Dijon, France results in failure.

Much later an attempt in Florida will also be in vain. Hawaii will prove to be the most successful location that is well out of the tropics.

In Constantinople the coffeehouse was known as “Mekteb-i-irfan.” Schools of the cultured.

In the reign of Louis XIV, Parisian coffeehouse keepers belonged to the guild of persons called “maitres-distillateurs” refreshment providers. Included in this guild were sellers of  a variety of libations from lemonade to wine.

Louis XIV shunned coffee after being influenced by medical warnings of his time but Louis XV made great fanfare in serving it to guests in Versailles.

Vienna coffee guilds referred to coffeehouse operators as “coffee-boilers.”  Initially the guilds had great utility giving handicrafts prestige and guaranteeing quality although in due course they turned into trade monopolies.

It was the German chemist Ludwig Roselius who developed a process to remove caffeine from coffee in 1900. His father, a coffee taster by profession, had died prematurely and Ludwig ascribed his death to coffee poisoning. This led him to study the deleterious effects of caffeine and inspired him to develop a caffeine extraction process from the raw coffee beans thus making available to the world, decaffeinated coffee.

1827 pumping percolator invented.

1900 The turn of the century signaled many changes in the coffee industry.

1903 Espresso machines were invented.

1903 Brazil took over 90% of the worlds coffee production.

1906 Roselius forms a joint stock company to produce decaf coffee in Germany.

1906 Jabez Burns develops the modern coffee roaster in America.

Electricity makes possible modern coffee processing and roasting equipment with the introduction of electric motors, electric fans and lighting.

1908 Melitta Bentz experiments with paper coffee filters.

1960 Freeze dried coffee developed.

During the 18th century Brazil dominated the world’s sugar production. When Napoleon discovered home grown beet-sugar as a substitute for Brazilian cane sugar, the European demand for Brazilian sugar fell off dramatically. Coffee cultivation was Brazil’s answer to the loss of their sugar monopoly.

“ There are three intolerable things in life—cold coffee, lukewarm champagne and overexcited women.”  Orson Wells

“ Dr. Livingston I presume?” 

“Well hello Stanley!  

 You’re just in time for coffee.

 Have a seat.” 1871*

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