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