In praise of coffee
Virtually anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge fan – and most definitely a snob – when it comes to coffee. Those who would identify with that, read on.
I bought a book on Amazon recently just on a whim: Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World by Mark Pendergrast. I have just sat down to start having a go at it (with a nicely brewed Mocha Djimmah, I might add) and after a few pages couldn’t resist sharing an excerpt. Deft writing always catches my eye, and Pendergrast has it – the capability of capturing the ideas he wishes to convey and communicating it in language appropriate to the subject. Thus:
‘Beginning as a medicinal drink for the elite, coffee became the favored modern stimulant of the blue-collar worker during his break, the gossip starter in the middle-class kitchens, the romantic binder for wooing couples, and the sole, bitter companion of the lost soul. Coffeehouses have provided places to plan revolutions, write poetry, do business, and meet friends.’
And so on. He has a nice turn of phrase and knows how to engage the passions, but it looks like he also has a genuine knack for history, showing how the history of coffee charts many of the important themes of modern world history itself. I look forward to reading this book!