It’s National Coffee Day! Of course a blog post must happen to celebrate, as you all know how very fond I am of coffee. Lattes, cappuccinos, mochas, Americanos, mistos… I’ll drink just about anything!
And what do you know, it just so happens that I’m studying the coffee market in school this week and have learned some fascinating things about this popular beverage. For instance, it wasn’t always popular – did you know that coffee was once a feared commodity, banned and burned by leaders who thought that its addictive properties would distract their citizens from exploring the sublime? The growing popularity (and no doubt addiction) to coffee overcame those obstacles, however, and over the centuries it became a prized commodity, affordable only to those who could pay its expensive price. The coffee culture in Europe came to symbolize intellectual and artistic life, and then it became involved in politics. Coffeehouses grew into social hubs where news was disseminated and citizens discussed politics. In fact, cafés in France would be instrumental in launching the Revolution, as it was in a coffeehouse that the infamous attack on the Bastille was planned. King Charles II even once tried to shut down British coffeehouses, fearful of political discourse that social coffee drinking provoked. And of course, coffee became America’s beverage of choice following the British tax on tea and the revolution that followed. Over the centuries, coffee has traveled the world; its reception progressing steadily from fearful acceptance to luxe indulgence, and eventually to a morning survival tactic for modern workers struggling to stay awake.
What would we do without it?