Sunday, 2 October 2011

or Coffee

Yes, please. With plenty of sugar.


  1. Such is the value of coffee and tea - both drinks so so much a part of social culture that we rarely stop to think about them. Fun to imagine a time, though, when the public attitude to the drink and the social behaviours that accompanied it were downright unacceptable. Imagine meeting in public places to enjoy a cup and freely mingle with members of the opposite sex, or worse, perhaps, linger over a cup at home. Was the real sin in taking pleasure in something? In any case, it's interesting to discover that the first coffee houses in Germany were initially regarded as dens of inequity from which one's daughters were to be kept at all costs.

    Bach's Coffee Cantata offers some insight to the depth of resistance to the drink, as Schlendrian's rebellious daughter declares, among other things, that she will consider no suitor who refuses to let her drink coffee, and moreover, reveals that she has secretly made her husband's permission part of her marriage contract. (The thought of a woman altering a marriage contract would surely have been at least as scandalous as her sitting around drinking coffee.)

    Whereas the Canata clearly alludes to a humourously harried father trying to deal effectively with the women in his life, it also alludes to the dangers of coffee of which Bach's audiences would have been quite aware.

  2. Now you are talking! Coffee lover here.

  3. Fascinating, McGregor. Judging by earlt accounts the oriigal coffee served in English coffee houses was foul stuff and only contained a small percentage of coffee with loads of alternatives added to save moenby (like chicory). They were very much a male domain but I hadn't realised that the actual drinking of coffee was gender driven. Definitely a jot iof information for use in my next book (unpublished again?). Thanks.

  4. I think I can leave a comment now.
    Yay! I will celebrate and have a cup of tea! (Coffee is for the morning.)
    Oh, and check out my blog. Your starfish post inspired it!

  5. Tea I only drink when I am cold or have an upset tummy, but coffee is something I have every day. Not much of it, but one big mug in the morning and then one smaller mug after lunch and sometimes, when I want to go out after work, another one in the late afternoon.
    There is a factory around the corner from where I live where they produce chicory "coffee", it is supposed to be healthier than regular coffee, but I prefer proper java.


Hello - thanks for dropping by to leave a comment. Your comments are much appreciated even if I don't always reply. They will appear as soon as they have been moderated.

Blog Archive