on Coffee

Two tidbits I learned today about the burnt beans …

(1) From Claudia Roden’s book Coffee: A Connoisseur’s Companion:

In Italy it was the priests who appealed to Pope Clement VIII to have the use of coffee forbidden among Christians. Satan, they said, had forbidden his followers, the infidel Moslems, the use of wine because it was used in the Holy Communion, and given them instead his “hellish black brew.” It seems the Pope liked the drink, for his reply was: “Why, this Satan’s drink is so delicious that it would be a pity to let the infidels have exclusive use of it. We shall cheat Satan by baptizing it.” Thus coffee was declared a truly Christian beverage by a farsighted Pope. (p. 14)

More here. [HT: Cranach]

(2) J.S. Bach wrote Coffee Cantata (c. 1734) a comic opera about a father concerned over his daughter’s coffee consumption:

Oh! How sweet the coffee tastes,
Lovelier than a thousand kisses,
Mellower than muscatel wine.
Coffee, coffee I must have,
And if someone wants to refresh me,
Ah, let him give me coffee!

Learn more about it here. Read the full text here. Funny stuff.

(3) UPDATE … Dean, a faithful blog reader in NC, recommends sipping java with david m. bailey’s album Coffee With The Angels playing in the background. Check out track 3, Java Junkie. “The Cubans drink it sweet. The Turkish drink it strong. Me? I just drink it all day long.”