A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

It's National Coffee Day!

September 29th (that would be today) is National Coffee Day. For those of us who are "coffee elitists" this is indeed a great day. (Note to my fellow United Methodists-- coffee is important but we do not need a Coffee Awareness Sunday.) Coffee sustained many of us through "all-nighters" studying for finals in college. It is the common drink that binds friends together as they sit around the table discussing (and sometimes arguing over) politics and religion. And can anyone doubt that a book is much more enjoyable when read while drinking a cup of java?

Coffee has been at the center of important events and some real controversy down through the centuries:

Coffee has been incorporated into religious ceremonies in some cultures in Africa and Yemen.

At certain times in Europe coffee was associated with subversive political movements.

In the 17th century the Ottoman's banned its consumption in Turkey.

In colonial America, coffee houses were popular as a place to gather and discuss the latest news. Unlike taverns which served alcohol, coffee houses were not required to rent rooms.

The rise of Islam greatly increased the consumption of coffee since Islam forbids the drinking of alcohol. In fact, some suggest that the word "coffee" is derived from the old Arabic word for "wine."

Coffee consumption increased in Western Europe after Pope Clement VIII declared in 1600 AD that the beverage was acceptable for Christians to drink. There had been movements in Europe to ban the drink because it was associated with Islam.

About two years ago I began roasting my own coffee. Some of my friends with a questionable sense of humor have said to me, "You know, you can buy it already roasted at the grocery store." And I say in response, "The difference between drinking store-purchased coffee and freshly roasted coffee is as vast as eating a home-made-from-scratch pizza and a store-purchased frozen pizza."

So, on this National Coffee Day tip back a cup or two in honor of a great beverage with a long and important place in world history.


Chuck Tackett said...

As one who does not enjoy the delicacies of coffee, I appreciate the history lesson.

While we may not need a coffee awareness Sunday, we could use one dealing with fair-market awareness.

I'm sure all of your bean purchases are from fair-market sources (just a little dig - don't know where you get them from). I bet that it smells good when you're roasting.

Allan R. Bevere said...


I certainly believe that markets should be fair and wish they were, but it is a complex issue.

Here's a link to the subject of fair trade coffee I wrote recently. I don't know if you saw it.


John Byron said...

Hmm, it is also my mother's birthday and she is the one who started me on the coffee habit. She thought it would curb my hyperactivity. Ha!

Thanks for the heads up on the day. I need to roast some. It has been a few weeks. I am slumming it with Starbucks.