Coffee, cafe, kahwa. Each name is widely known but to not be misled by the strangest term all we need to do is to smell it. This drink, popular all over the world, is produced from coffee beans. In Ethiopia this plant was used in 1000 year BC therefore its history is known much more earlier than it might seem. The next stop in spreading the coffee beans was Yemen, from where it further went through entire Arabia. Then the beans spread to Near East from where the way to Europe is straight. Soon after, those precious seeds went to Brazil which immediately became the biggest importer of coffee in the world.
Today coffee is known in every corner of the world. The rituals accompanying the consumption of coffee are different in every place. The most famous from almost sacral approach to coffee are Italians. This is the place where we can meet with a deep offence by ordering an espresso in the morning or by ordering latte to a dessert. In 17th century Polish people were also famous for drinking coffee in a special way – they used to add selected full fat cream.
The flavour of coffee will be different on each latitude and longitude and this is one of its main charm. This black as ink drink very quickly gained in popularity among the artists. Coffee became not only an element which was supporting the effectiveness of the work but also an inspiration or even the object of artistic ecstasy. Suffice it to say that the works of many artists are inseparably connected with this drink. The Artist which is the most often associated with coffee is probably the author Honoré de Balzac who created an amazing image of it:
“This coffee falls into your stomach, and straightway there is a general commotion. Ideas begin to move like the battalions of the Grand Army of the battlefield, and the battle takes place. Things remembered arrive at full gallop, ensuing to the wind. The light cavalry of comparisons deliver a magnificent deploying charge, the artillery of logic hurry up with their train and ammunition, the shafts of with start up like sharpshooters. Similes arise, the paper is covered with ink; for the struggle commences and is concluded with torrents of black water, just as a battle with powder.”
Not only in literature coffee found its reflection. Very often it was a theme of various paintings of the biggest artists. One of the most recognizable example is impressionistic painting of Edvard Munch who holds the time in the image of an elderly man who is smoking the pipe and in front of him there is a cup of coffee.
Another artist who also devoted the thematic of his painting to coffee is expressionist Ernst Ludwig Kirchner – one of the precursor of expressionism movement. In the picture we see broken molds and aggressive colours.
Drinking coffee quickly became inseparable element of pop culture. It rapidly stormed the cinematic world. The most popular audiovisual ode is black and white, independent comedy of Jim Jarmusch. The movie consists of eleven segments. The main subject of each is a cup of coffee or two plus a cigarette smoked one after another. The title “Coffee and cigarettes” becomes starting point of some more and less important conversations.
There is also an image of women who have almost never been seen without a steaming cup of this black drink. One of them is Princess Diana who despite of being very recognizable person was unable to resist drinking morning coffee at one of her favourite café next to Kensington Palace. It is said that her favourite drink was latte and simple little black. Just after her tragic death this small café which she frequently visited renamed into ‘Café Diana’.
Second woman which was hardly ever seen without a cup of steaming drink in her hand was Audrey Hepburn. She loved drinking coffee sip after sip to such level that very often the directors were doing her favour and the characters played by her were also fascinated by coffee. Haters used to say that the quality of drinking coffee was unimportant for her. The truth is that coffee was giving her a huge dose of energy and it was giving her the reason to be happy.
The most current version of woman with a cup of coffee is the character of Carrie Bradshaw from “Sex In The City”. Anyone who has at least once walked the streets of New York and knows this iconic TV series, must have been wondering if Carrie and her friends will be at next coffee shop. She is the author of very popular quotation which says that the most important thing in life is water because without it coffee would not exist.
The coffee aroma infiltrated all aspects of life and very often is a companion of social meetings these more and less pleasant. Its presence can be also found in politics. The great gourmet of coffee was Winston Churchill. He was employing a number of specialists in the field of brewing coffee and allowed only the most significant mixes. Historical is the dialogue between him and Lady Astor who supposedly said to him: ‘If I was your wife, sir, I would poison your coffee’ he answered her in such words: “If I was your husband, I would drink it”