Thursday, January 17, 2008

Church History and Coffee

What do church history and coffee have in common, you ask?

In her aptly titled book, "Coffee," Claudia Rosen explains that 16th-century priests wanted Pope Clement VIII to ban "the devil's drink." They insisted that Satan had forbidden his followers--Muslims--from drinking wine because it was used in Holy Communion. Instead, the devil provided this "hellish black brew".


The elixir made from coffee beans does in fact have a long history in Islamic regions.
--African tribes mixed the crushed beans with animal fat and molded them into balls to eat as a stimulant before battle.
--Arabs made the first hot coffee beverage, in 1000 A.D.
--Dervishes--mystic devotees of Islam's Sufi sect--consumed coffee at all-night ceremonies as fuel for achieving religious ecstasy.
--Arabs also invented the ibrik, or coffee broiler.
--As coffee lost it's strictly religious significance, the first coffee houses appeared in Mecca.

Clemente VIII,wisely, decided to give it a taste test!

"Why, this Satan's drink is so delicious," he declared, "that it would be a pity to let the infidels have exclusive use of it. We shall cheat Satan by baptizing it."

And so, I am now able to enjoy my coffee!

My favorite coffee is a Venezuelan blend. Cafe Madrid! We are out of it now, but are substituting with a Brazilian coffee we purchased while in Paraguay. In a few weeks my husband will be in Venezuela and, hopefully, will be able to purchase a few more kilos of that "hellish black brew"! Unfortunately, due to the wonders of Chavismo Communism, he will not be able to purchase milk or sugar for his coffee while there.




H/T Pastoral Ponderings

23 comments:

Amanda said...

"We shall cheat Satan by baptizing it." Ha ha! Love it!

Shane Vander Hart said...

I'm so glad that they did :).

Pastor Erik DiVietro said...

http://adventuresinmissing.wordpress.com/2007/11/07/java-i-serve-thee/ /> I posted something similar awhile ago. Sometimes I'm happy we have Catholics...

Jackie said...

Dad is going to Ven? When?Why?

Liz said...

Oh dear Rita... tell Clint to hurry! coffee is the new item to disappear from the shelves here.

I think that will do it for me! I cannot live without my morning coffee!!!!

Jungle Mom said...

Jackie, in a few weeks and he will be doing the Pastor's Conference.

Jungle Mom said...

Liz, YIKES! At least in the paro we still had coffee!

Jane said...

That is our favorite coffee too!!! We have two 15 packs in the pantry now and will get more when we go down the end of the month.
I wish I was able to get some to you. But hopefully your hubby can bring some to you when he goes.

Sarah Halter said...

It's amazing how many traditions have been redeemed in the church. My favorite coffee is definitely Kenyan, from Java House in Nairobi, but that's probably because I've lived there. Right now I'm all out and drinking a Nicaraguan blend.

Thanks for your comment! I've read your blog too, linked over from Jackie, but haven't been by in a while. I haven't heard any explanation of inclusive and exclusive yet, but would love to hear about it. My email is sarahhalter at sbcglobal dot net if you want to send me a note.

Pat said...

I am known to imbibe in the "Devil's Brew" and that hellish black stuff!!

Love to sit and enjoy with the sunrise or with friends occationally.....

I am a columbian girl, but also love Jamaican Blue Mountain and Kona...of course, I do not make espresso here, but enjoy it out or at friends with machines!!

Praying they will have a bunch while DH is there!!

(Welcome back to our neck of the woods!!)

Charles said...

Great post. Very interesting. I'd love to try it sometime. (Sipping a cup of Kenya now )mmmm

Brooke said...

Go Clemente! :P

I am MightyMom said...

don't drink coffee meself. but some things I'd find hard to give up for sure!

I am MightyMom said...

don't drink coffee meself. but some things I'd find hard to give up for sure!

Teresa said...

I'm not a coffee drinker but right now at this very moment.....I am in need of a piece of birthday cake. It's no one's birthday right here right now, but I am certain it is someone's birthday somewhere in the world.

Obob said...

I love Blue Mountain from Jamacia. Ummm,
go Fred

Dawn said...

Very interesting! I don't like coffee at all, but enjoyed bringing Kona coffee back from Hawaii for those who do.

When do you go to Paraguay?

Webutante said...

Love good organic coffees of all kinds. But they get milder as the day goes on!

Abouna said...

Thank heavens for the Italian order of Franciscan Minor Friars who were called "CAPPUCCINI" from their hooded habits ("CAPPUCCIO" means hood in Italian.

These men of the cloth, supposedly invented that delightful drink we call, you guessed it, CAPPUCCINO. So, let's baptize some more and drink another cup.

Brooke said...

Yes, and if I'm not mistaken, it was also a monk who invented the process of carbonation, revolutionizing beer as we know it! ;)

Daughter of the King said...

Coffee...does it not come from a bean..does that make it a legume..or a vegetable...either way it has GOT to be good for you.....that's what I think....
Deby

groovyoldlady said...

Ahhahaha! I am SO glad it was officially sanctioned by "the Church".

Anonymous said...

hi rita, i´m Venezuelan and a coffee lover, i have tested all venezuelan coffee brands and i prefer "Flor de Patria" blend, is a tasteful and very aromatic coffee. greetings