Tophane ceramics. Coffee pot,
miniature cup and small coffee pot
A Cup of Coffee - A Special Memory of 40 Years
Yapı Kredi Publications

Finer than a Thousand Kisses

Coffee and cafes arrived in Germany in the 1670s. By 1721 there were cafes in several large German cities. For a long time, the coffee habit remained with the upper class. Several doctors gave warnings regarding the practice of using coffee for abortions and early births. In 1732 Johann Sebastian Bach’s controversial (and popular) Coffee Cantata told a humorous story in which a girl begs her strict father to allow her to have coffee, which was her favorite indulgence:

My dear father, don’t be so strict! If I can't drink my bowl of coffee three times daily, then in my torment, I will shrivel up like a piece of roast goat. Ah! How lovely the taste of coffee! A taste finer than a thousand kisses, sweeter than grape wine! I must drink my coffee, so if someone wishes to make me happy please permit them to serve me coffee!        

Toward the end of that century, Ludwig van Beethoven fed his coffee habit using a total of 60 beans per cup.

In 1777, the hot drink became more popular even after Germany’s Kaiser Frederick the Great had published a manifesto in favor of more traditional drinks. “It is awful to realize our people’s increased consumption of coffee and the resulting increase in the amount of money going out of my country. My people should drink beer. Their kingdom and their forefathers came with beer.” Four years later when the Kaiser forbade any coffee roasting outside of official government bodies, the people had to substitute such drinks as roasted chicory, dried figs, barley, wheat or corn in place of coffee. At the same time, real coffee beans and those who roasted them in secret were set up but were uncovered by the government agents from among the people who were scorned and called “coffee smellers.” Finally, despite all the efforts to eliminate it, coffee continued to thrive in Germany for a long time. Women in particular gave the drink a more feminine image by drinking it at their social gossip gatherings called “Kaffeeklatches.”

All the other European countries also discovered coffee in the same period. The green beans reached Holland via Dutch traders. Scandinavian countries were slower to adopt it, although they had the highest level of consumption per capita. However, in no place did it have a stronger, spontaneous motivating effect than it did in England.

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