Join and earn Bitcoin Cash for participation

Do You Drink Much Coffee? I Bet You Can't Beat These Enthusiasts!

52 113
Avatar for Mictorrani
Written by   51
2 weeks ago (Last updated: 3 days ago)
Topics: Coffee

(This is the 4th and last article of my currently ongoing series about coffee. You find links to articles 1-3 at the bottom of the page.)

During its heydays, in France especially, but also in Germany, coffee was consumed in huge amounts by certain individuals.

Balzac - Daguerreotype taken in 1842.

French novelist Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850) is said to have died by overconsumption of coffee. That is probably untrue, but the fact remains; he drank coffee all the time while he was writing, 12 hours per day. He probably reached over 50 cups per day. In "The Pleasures and Pains of Coffee" he wrote:

“Coffee is a great power in my life [...]”

and

“Coffee affects the diaphragm and the plexus of the stomach, from which it reaches the brain by barely perceptible radiations that escape complete analysis; that aside, we may surmise that our primary nervous flux conducts an electricity emitted by coffee when we drink it.”

Napoleon - Portrait by Jacques-Louis David, 1812 - Note how he holds his hand!

Emperor Napoleon (1769-1821), however, might possibly have died by his coffee drinking. Not because it was too much, but because it was too hot. He threw it down his throat almost boiling and certainly he must have harmed his stomach by that. Allegedly, he died by stomach cancer. It could have been caused by heat damage of the tissues in the stomach. In any case, it certainly contributed to his cancer. (Note late pictures of Napoleon; he often held one hand on the stomach, probably because he had pain there.)

Kant - Portrait by Johann Gottlieb Becker, 1768.

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), the little man who was so sharp a philosopher but so childish, almost infantile, as a man, came to love coffee in his old days. Thomas De Quincey relates this anecdote:

“At the beginning of the last year of his life, he fell into the custom of taking, immediately after dinner, a cup of coffee. [...] Sometimes, in the interest of conversation, the coffee was forgotten, but not for long. He would remember and with the querulousness of old age and infirm health would demand that coffee be brought 'upon the spot'. Arrangements had always been made in advance, however; the coffee was ground, and the water was boiling; and in the very moment the word was given the servant shot like an arrow and plunged the coffee into the water. All that remained, therefore, was to give it time to boil up. But this trifling detail delayed seemed unendurable to Kant. If it were said 'Dear Professor, the coffee will be up in a moment', he would say 'Will be! There's the rub, that it only will be.' Then he would quiet himself with a stoical air, and say, 'Well, one can die after all; it is but dying; and in the next world, thank God, there is no drinking of coffee and consequently no waiting for it.' When at length the servant's steps were heard upon the stairs, he would turn round to us, and joyfully call out: 'Land, land! my dear friends, I see land!'”

Voltaire - Portrait by Nicolas de Largillière, about 1724

Voltaire (1694-1778) is said to have consumed 50 cups of coffee daily. Once someone claimed that coffee "was a slow poison", whereupon he replied:

"I think it must be, for I have been drinking it for 65 years and I am not dead yet!"

Johann Sebastian Bach - Portrait by Elias Gottlob Haussmann, 1746.

Another lover of coffee was Johann Sebastian Bach, who even composed a Coffee Cantata (with text by Picander). He preferred to have his inspirational daily dose of coffee in one of the "coffee houses" which were a successful novelty in his era, especially in Leipzig which was a cultural centre and very much en vogue at that time. For instance, Bach's favourite was "Zimmermannisches Caffee-Hauß" in Leipzig. Notice the spelling which was as typical then as was "Coffee", both stressed on the first syllable and ending on a long German "eh", therefore phonetically differing from the contemporary word "coffee" in English. Originally though, when coffee was introduced to German speaking consumers, spelling was "Caffe", and the subsequent spelling of the word in connection with this cantata can be confusing.

Authentical spelling of the lines from "Kaffeekantate" as written in the 4th printed edition of Picander's text, 1748:

Ey! wie schmeckt der Caffe süsse,

Lieblicher als tausend Küsse,

Milder als Muscaten-Wein.

Caffe, Caffe muß ich haben;

Und wenn iemand mich will laben,

Ach so schenckt mir Caffe ein.

Don't mind the spelling of "Kaffeekantate" as this title was assigned to the text much later. The title Picander himself had given his text was: "Uber den Caffe. Cantata." A later title was "Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht", the first line of the Cantata.

Recent quoting of "Kaffeekantate" where you see it spelled "Kaffee" (and "ei" for "ey" etc.) disregards the original in favour of today's average audience.

(This article is number 4 in a series of 4, where I discuss various aspects of coffee. You can find the whole series here.)

Copyright © 2020 Meleonymica/Mictorrani. All Rights Reserved.

(If you liked this, please consider leaving a tip, either here or via CoinTr.ee)

Previous articles in this series: What Coffee does to You, Coffee: Plants & the Function of Caffeine and History of Coffee.

You find all my writings on Read.Cash, sorted by topic, here.

19
$ 1.63
$ 1.00 from @lugaxker
$ 0.53 from @Telesfor
$ 0.10 from @hello
Sponsors of Mictorrani
empty
empty
empty
Avatar for Mictorrani
Written by   51
2 weeks ago (Last updated: 3 days ago)
Topics: Coffee
Enjoyed this article?  Earn Bitcoin Cash by sharing it! Explain
...and you will also help the author collect more tips.

Comments

They drank cups of coffee and these cups were small. I know from my grandparents and at home. These days people drink mugs, even hug rugs and bekers close to 400 or even 500 ml! For sure there are plenty of people who beat them.

I doubt it will kill you. No one can pour boiling/hot coffee straight into his stomach. We know nothing about those people their other food, drinking habits which might be interesting.

A nice read. 💕

$ 0.00
1 week ago

You are right in that a "cup" is a very vague measure and that makes comparison difficult. It certainly was not like mugs like most Western people today use. Neither was it small like the little glass cup in which you get so-called Turkish coffee in the Middle East.

$ 0.00
1 week ago

im quite a coffee drinker myself,around 10/15 cup a day....my kind of cup,beer mug...haha..cant live without coffee..

$ 0.00
1 week ago

At 15 cups (beer mugs) you would be one of the largest contemporary consumers I know of. I have heard about occasional higher intakes, but not on a long term regular basis.

$ 0.00
1 week ago

coffee keep me fresh and energetic ..too much coffee and too much sugar in it for my long walk/trek up and down several hills everyday ..live and work gathering food or resources from mother nature..my way of living..

$ 0.00
1 week ago

Well, the sugar might be questionable, from a health perspective. But your way of living sounds fascinating. A lot of healthy walking and fresh air - I take it that you are not living in a densely populated and heavily polluted area if you can live like that.

$ 0.00
1 week ago

forgot to comment about the sugar...sugar is energy..health perspective.diabetic?yes..thats true a hundred %..too much sugar...but for me...my body still dont have enough sugar..cause i use too much energy..

$ 0.00
1 week ago

yes.i live in the little village deep in the interior of Sabah Borneo,The Land below The wund...where Mt Kinabalu stood still...

$ 0.00
1 week ago

Wow, that's fascinating. Then you must have a fantastic wildlife around you.

$ 0.00
1 week ago

depleted already...too much poacher here..haha

$ 0.00
1 week ago

Yeah, poachers are a problem, I understand that.

$ 0.00
1 week ago

I am also a devotee of Coffee, but I don't usually get to the abusive stage or any extreme situation or application to my drinking coffee. All good I now know Coffee has been a historical beverage.

$ 0.00
1 week ago

Everything is best if not exaggerated. Yeah, it is a historical beverage. But I think the excessive use was worse back in those times when it was relatively new. Even if there are people today who abuse coffee, it is hard to imagine anyone drinking 50 cups or so per day.

$ 0.00
1 week ago

keep updated with your articles. I find interests in those articles written by you.

$ 0.00
2 weeks ago

My pleasure.

$ 0.00
2 weeks ago

Hello! I am not a devotee on coffee. But surely my family is. My grandparents use to drink coffee everyday, after breakfast and lunch.

Cheers! keep the good content coming!

$ 0.00
2 weeks ago

Well, after breakfast and lunch should be just good for them. It is far from being too much, and if you have read my article "What does Coffee do to You" (link at the bottom of article above), you know that there are many benefits from drinking coffee.

$ 0.00
2 weeks ago

Thank you for sharing this amazing post.I have learnt something interesting about coffee.your post is really appreciating.

$ 0.00
2 weeks ago

You're welcome.

$ 0.00
2 weeks ago

I love to drink coffee but i didn’t know these much about coffee.It is really interesting and appreciating.I have come to a lots about my favorite beverage Coffee today.thanks for sharing it.

$ 0.00
2 weeks ago

You're welcome.

$ 0.00
2 weeks ago

@Mictorrani Good afternoon!

Drink 50 cups of coffee daily! All uses with abuse end up being a damage to health and life; Now I know that coffee produces electricity, with good reason it alters our nerves and causes insomnia. Thanks for sharing your work.

$ 0.00
2 weeks ago

Good afternoon. Yes, all abuse leads to damage, and anything can be abused.

$ 0.00
2 weeks ago

Thank you; today I have learnt something interesting about coffee and one of my heroes, Napoleon. Also for sharing one of my favourite pictures of the great man.

$ 0.00
2 weeks ago

Yeah, Napoleon is interesting, his life was really unique.

$ 0.00
2 weeks ago

I always had it in mind that much coffee isn't good. I don't even take it at all. At least we have leant this today

$ 0.00
2 weeks ago

Everything depends on the amount. Even water and oxygen are harmful if too much.

$ 0.00
2 weeks ago

Yes, that is impressing. This istge fiest time i find this information regarding coffee. Thank you very much

$ 0.00
2 weeks ago

My pleasure.

$ 0.00
2 weeks ago

Oh! I am sorry for those people. May their souls rest in peace. Excess of everything is tantamount to big trouble. They should had acted wisely on coffee.

$ 0.00
2 weeks ago

Yeah, I'm sure it was not good to them. But they had a tendency to be excessive with many things.

$ 0.00
2 weeks ago

Oh! That's too bad! Everything should be done in normal way, foods and drugs to be taken according to the stipulated quantity or recommended dosage. Thanks.

$ 0.00
2 weeks ago

Yes, you're absolutely right.

$ 0.00
2 weeks ago

An interesting discussion about coffee lovers. Because I also coffee lover.

$ 0.00
2 weeks ago

Me too, but I don't drink 50 cups a day!

$ 0.00
2 weeks ago

French people for the win! Now I know why Blazac was a productivity monster (his Comédie humaine consists of more than 90 books).

$ 0.00
2 weeks ago

Yes, that is impressing. But he wrote somewhere that he followed a strict daily routine. 6 hours sleeping, 12 hours writing (and drinking coffee), 6 hours eating. He did not only drink a lot of coffee, he did eat copiously as well. 6 hours eating! Just imagine that!

Thanks for the donation.

$ 0.00
2 weeks ago

They used to eat more slowly. They were probably real food festivals with many breaks and lots of drinking. Hardly imaginable today in the fast food age.

$ 0.00
2 weeks ago

Yes, they did eat in another way, of course. Everything was allowed to take its time. But it was still much. At that time in Paris, they had extreme eaters, especially among authors. They did sit their hours at a table in a restaurant, taking in dish after dish. Balzac belonged to them and Alexandre Dumas père was another. There are descriptions of such meals and it is almost unbelievable. Unfortunately, I don't have relevant books available (I have them stored in another country), otherwise I would quote it.

$ 0.00
2 weeks ago

Coffee with its history and benefits!! Great thinking. It is one of my favourite drinking. Greatful to have your articles. So much interesting!! God bless. Have a nice day

$ 0.00
2 weeks ago

Thank you very much! One of my favourite beverages as well. A nice day to you too.

$ 0.00
2 weeks ago

keep updated with your articles. I find interests in those articles written by you.

$ 0.00
2 weeks ago

Glad to hear that. Please subscribe then, so you won't miss anything, and give a thumbs up if you like it. But I write about several different things, so perhaps you are not interested in everything. Anyway, be welcome!

$ 0.00
2 weeks ago