Governments imposing bans on certain foods in order to protect us from ourselves is not all that unusual. From New York’s trans-fat ban to California’s ban on foie gras (which was later rescinded), the food police are a group that never seems to sleep. But coffee? Why would anyone try to ban what is arguably the most loved beverage in the universe?
Believe it or not, coffee has been the subject of numerous ban attempts in the past. According to writer and comedian Emmy Blotnick, there have been no fewer than five such incidents throughout history. We appreciate that none of them actually succeeded long-term. You can take away a lot of things, but please don’t take our coffee.
From Religion to Health Concerns
Knowing that a government would attempt to ban coffee is one thing, understanding why such a ban would be considered is something else entirely. Keep in mind that coffee consumption began primarily as a religious practice in Africa and the Middle East. That leads us to the first known coffee man put in place in Mecca during the early 16th century. The government at the time believed that coffee was potentially intoxicating and could lead to radical thinking that drifted outside religious norms.
There were also religious concerns about coffee when it first arrived in Europe. Church leaders attempted to convince Pope Clement VIII to ban it under the auspices of protecting the church and its members. They claimed that coffee was satanic in nature. However, the pope disagreed after trying some himself. His declaration that coffee was delicious is partly credited for its widespread acceptance across Europe.
Other coffee bans throughout history include a 1623 action in Constantinople by Murad IV, a mid-18th-century action in Sweden that banned both coffee and coffee paraphernalia, and a 1777 action by Prussia’s Frederick the Great. Of the five attempted coffee bans listed here, only the Prussian ban was not related to religion or health. Frederick wanted to get rid of the caffeinated beverage because he believed it got in the way of beer consumption.
What You Don’t Know Will Kill You
Sometimes, what you don’t know can kill you. That’s not the case with coffee. A lack of understanding about caffeine in centuries past led governments and scientists to make decisions about coffee that were totally unfounded. It’s very similar to absinthe bans of the last few centuries.
Coffee is a beverage that is both delicious and good for you when consumed in moderation. So go ahead and take anything you want, except our coffee.
Without stating the obvious, Galaxie Coffee loves coffee, which is why we do what we do. We serve the greater New York area with the finest coffees, teas and other beverages along with a full range of breakroom products. We will continue to do so as long as coffee remains legal in this part of the world – which should be forever. Contact us for more information about arranging coffee service for your office.