5 anedoctes about coffee you may not know

by | Sep 18, 2019 | CURIOSITY

«Even a cup of bad coffee is better than not drinking coffee at all».

David Lynch

There is nothing better than a good cup of coffee, especially if you are in Italy and order an “espresso” in a Café. While we are sipping from our steaming hot cup , we are often so completely captured by the aroma and the taste that we can’t think about what a long tradition and how many curious facts are hidden in those glorious and magic little grains…

Here are some fun anedoctes you may not know about coffee!

It was all thanks to goats

You may not believe it, but it’s true ! According to the legend, the first to discover the exciting effects of caffeine were a few Ethiopian sheperds around 800 A.D. Do you want to know how they realize that? Very easy! Their goats seems to be going mad when they swallowed coffee grains. So, moved by curiosity, a monk decided to strain a drink from the grains… and he couldn’t sleep all night. That’s how the first cup of coffee was born.

Coffee was able to persuade even the pope himself

This is only a legend and we don’t know exactly what happened. They say that, around the 17th centuries, a lot of Italian priests started to make pressure on the Pope, Clemente VIII, asking him to ban coffee forever, because this drink was thought to be brought by the devil: in fact, it was black, with a bitter taste, it was drunk in huge quantities and it was particularly appreciated by the Muslim Barbarians from Turkey; moreover, it was used in many non-Christian ceremonies in Africa.
So the Pope, who was fed up with their complaints, decided to check if what they said was true, and he tasted a cup of the best coffee blend. His answer, as we were saying, is legendary.
“Well, this drink from Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it only to infidels. We will cheat Satan and christen it”.

Pope Clemente VIII

Coffee was drunk from the saucer

Around the 18th century, people used to drink coffee not from the cup but from the saucer, which, at that time, was deeper and meant to allow boiling coffee to cool down. In fact, coffee was first poured into the cup and then, little by little, into the saucer. This custom was probably born to avoid burning your fingers, given that the first cups with a handle came to the West only in the second half of the 18th century.
There is a particular anedocte on this way of drinking coffee. It is said that, during a discussion on the value of the Senate, George Washington asked with great curiosity to Thomas Jefferson why he was pouring coffee into the saucer before drinking it.
“Obviously to cool it down” Jefferson answered. “My throat is not made of brass”.

There is an island called Coffee Club

Its original name is Kaffeklubben Island and it is a very small island just above Greenland. It’s peculiarity is that, according to a lot of calculation, it is the northernmostplace in the planet.
It was discovered in 1900 by the explorer Robert Peary, buti t was only christened in 1921 by his Danish colleague Lauge Kock, who was trying hard to draw a map of that unknown area.i
It is thought that such a name was a tribute to the Copenhagen coffe club di Copenaghen where geographers and university explorers used to meet.

New York Stock Exchange was a coffee shop

Before moving to 11, Wall Street, the New York Stock Exchange was hosted in a coffee shop called Tontine Coffee House, from the word “tontina”, a kind of financiary agreement invented by the Neapolitan Lorenzo de Tonti around the mid 1600s. The Tontine Coffee Shop worked exactly as the tontina: everybody paid an entrance fee and then the money collected was invested and the profit shared among participants.
Year after year, financial investments at the Tontine Coffee House became so huge and complex that investors had to look for a larger place in Wall Street; in this way they gave birth to what would become New York Stock Exchange.

Un dipinto del 1797 di Francis Guy che raffigura il Tontine (a sinistra con la bandiera degli Stati Uniti in cima)

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