September 23, 2005

Time For A Cup O' Joe


A while back, regular reader Utron recommended that I check out this book, The Devil's Cup by Stewart Lee Allen. The book purports to be a history of the influence of coffee drinking on mankind's development.

I won't review it here since I'm still only about two thirds of the way through. So far, though, it's quite entertaining, being in part a kind of hippie travelog, and in part a layman's history of the ol' java bean. At least as far as raw data about the various types of coffee and coffee preparation throughout history are concerned, I find it quite informative. I'm less inclined to trust some of Allen's hypotheses, however, since he starts out from a number of positions one more or less assumes a writer for Mother Jones would take.

But what I've mostly noticed since starting to read the book is that my own coffee consumption rate has just about doubled. Just reading about it makes me want a cup in the worst way.

And now typing this has got me thinking about it yet again.....

Vade retro, damned Java!

And thanks, Utron, for the serious, serious caffeine buzz I've been carrying around all week!

Posted by Robert at September 23, 2005 06:21 PM | TrackBack

Gald you're enjoying the book, Robbo. Personally, I admired the way Allen could pack a tremendous amount of data into a narrative style that reads like a slightly more laid-back Hunter Thompson. But I don't think Allen himself takes most of his crack-brained theories too seriously.

Probably just as well. The Joffe Coffee Theory of Militarism, which claims an inverse relationship between military prowess and the ability to make a decent cup of coffee, would bode ill for our current Middle East policy.

Posted by: utron at September 23, 2005 06:31 PM

You might also enjoy Aaron Elkins' book Twenty Blue Devils. It is mostly a mystery novel, but there is some good coffee knowledge, and probably more forensic anthropology than you need.

Posted by: pinky at September 23, 2005 08:27 PM

While you're reading, try listening to J.S. Bach's "Coffee Cantata".

"Hat man nicht mit seinen Kindern
Hunderttausend Hudelei!"

Posted by: OregonGuy at September 25, 2005 11:19 AM

Just remember that our dark master, when drip-brewed, isn't a cholesterol problem. Not to mention that it has four-and-a-half times the antioxidants of its closest competitor, tea. Keep up your habits and you will be positively glowing with health. And waxing the neighbors' floors at four a.m.

Posted by: tee bee at September 25, 2005 03:53 PM

Vade retro, indeed.

Posted by: tee bee at September 25, 2005 03:54 PM