It was banned too! – 5 places that turned down coffee
Of all possibilities in today’s world, I bet you never knew that coffee was once illegal in some places. Yep, coffee was almost completely banned. Not once, not twice, but 5 times!
Truth be told, not everyone was coffee crazy when it was first discovered. Many people were actually quite suspicious or fearful of the mysteriously energy-enhancing beverage. Some even thought that it was created by Satan!
Coffee was banned in Mecca in 1511, as it was believed to stimulate radical thinking and hanging out. Hence, the governor thought it might unite his opposition. Some Sufi sects would also pass around a bowl of coffee at funerals to stay awake during prayers!
The coffee arrived in Europe in the 16th century. Clergymen pressed for it to be banned and labelled “Satanic”. But Pope Clement VIII tasted it, declared it delicious, and even quipped that it should be baptized. On the strength of this papal blessing, coffeehouses rapidly sprang up throughout Europe.
After Murad IV claimed the Ottoman throne in 1623, he quickly banned coffee and set up a system of reasonable penalties. Beating was the punishment for a first offense. Anyone caught with coffee a 2nd time, was sewn into a leather bag and thrown into the waters of the Bosporus.
Sweden gave coffee the axe in 1746. The government also banned “Coffee Paraphernalia” — with cops confiscating cups and dishes. King Gustav III even ordered convicted murderers to drink coffee while doctors monitored how long the cups of Joe took to kill them. Seems great for convicts but boring for the doctors.
In 1777, Frederick the Great of Prussia issued a manifesto claiming beer’s superiority over coffee. He argued that coffee interfered with the country’s beer consumption, apparently hoping a royal statement would make Prussians eager for an eye-opening brew each morning. Frederick’s statement proclaimed, “His Majesty was brought up on beer,” explaining why he thought breakfast drinking was a good idea.
Over time, coffee has continuously won the battle against Kings and Lords who tried to remove it from their kingdoms. Clearly, the taste and effects of coffee were just too delicious for the coffee drinkers of our past to give up!
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