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, which my husband makes and serves me each morning. Now that's romantic!
My favorite coffee is a Venezuelan blend. Cafe Madrid! We are out of it now, but are substituting with a Brazilian coffee we purchased here. My son in law recently left us some great Costa Rican coffee too.
Do you drink coffee? How much and how often? Any favorite blend?