Guest: Wake Up and Smell the Coffee

If Coffee Anonymous ever comes into being, I’d probably have to become a card-carrying member. I love that wonderfully strong, aromatically delightful drink that is best known as “coffee.” It strikes me how versatile coffee is — it may just be the most useful beverage ever known to mankind.

I think about the possibilities of times during the day that I might have a cup. There is nothing like getting out of bed and starting a nice, hot pot of coffee. The smell of freshly ground beans permeates the space with such a pleasant aroma that it would almost be worth brewing just for that reason — what other drink can we say that about? Then, after the brewing is over, you get to enjoy that wonderful experience of the hot, bold flavor and the warm steam (which, it never hurts to point out, has been said to have good health benefits). With good quality beans, the experience should not be corrupted with cream and sugar, although with lesser beans, a few drops of creamer does not hurt.

Later, in the afternoon, when one starts to drag, nothing will give an oh-so-critical boost to energy as tasty espresso drink, such as my personal favorite, Caffe Latté. Personally, I prefer my Latte iced. Since a real espresso machine (and not the cheap ones that do not produce authentic espresso) cost far more than I wish to invest, a trip to Starbucks may be necessitated, but it is well worth it. Having missed my morning coffee this morning, and further more, suffering a bit of a headache after a bad night’s sleep, I am presently enjoying such a treat that has restored me to the land of the living.

On a cold night, another hot cup of coffee, perhaps a flavored brew, such as Bavarian chocolate, can really hit the spot. Not only that, but a cup at night can truly be enjoyed more so than one in the morning, permitting plenty of time to savor the smell and taste of good, well roasted beans. We must not forget the other possibilities too — Starbucks bottled Frappuccino  and canned Double Shot Espresso are conveniently available almost everywhere (at least in the U.S.) and the latter is probably a more effective headache killer than even aspirin. For someone like me who may have a dull headache a few times a week, I appreciate something so effective at eliminating it before it gets worse.

Now, before you get all worried, never fear. I do not actually consume all of these wonderful varieties of coffee every day. However, a day without any coffee is truly a sad day. While soda and tea are fine and have their place, I think coffee most certainly deserves the honor of the best and most versatile flavored beverage. Indeed, if I ever had to give it up, I think I could sympathize a lot with Robert Herrick’s “His Farewell to Sack.” Fortunately with none of the ill effects of Herrick’s drink, I think I shall avoid such an unfortunate occurrence.


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  2. Coffee is a truly social drink full of controversy and even in political realms it has not gone unnoticed.

    Apparently, in the United Nations Human Development Report 2001 a few paragraphs on coffee controversy was penned. Surprisingly, to this arrogant American, the Boston tea party was not included.

    Many of the crops that dominate today’s global market went through long periods of rejection because of perceived risks. For example, coffee, now the world’s second largest traded commodity by value, has a history marked by episodes of vilification and outright bans. In London in 1674 the WOmen’s Petition Against Coffee protested “the grand inconveniences accruing to their sex from the excessive use of the drying and enfeebling liquor”. Opposition to coffee-houses often had a political foundation — King Charles II of England tried to ban them in 1675 because they were hotbeds of revolution.

    In 1679, when coffee was perceived to be competing with wine in France, physicians attacked the drink. One physician suggested that coffee dried up brain fluids, leading to exhaustion, impotence and paralysis. In Germany, where coffee was equally controversial, physicians claimed that it caused female sterility and stillbirths. In 1732 Johann Sebastian Bach composed his Kaffee-Kantate partly as an ode to coffee and partly as a protest against the movement to stop women from drinking it. Concerned about the raining effect of green coffee imports on Prussia’s wealth, in 1775 Frederick the Great condemned the increase in coffee consumption as “disgusting” and urged his people to drink beer, like their ancestors.

    So, Tim, it would appear that your affections are shared by Johann Sebastian Bach. I rarely have lacked for amusement when searching simple subject on Google such as this. 🙂 Now, I only wish I had a preview feature in WordPress like Tim’s Blog has to make sure I didn’t mess something up.

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