“Black Coffee… Stronger Than The Human Soul Itself”

“Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard”. Anne Spencer

“The voodoo priest and all his powers were as nothing compared to espresso, cappuccino, and mocha, which are stronger than all the religions of the world combined, and perhaps stronger than the human soul itself” Mark Helprin, Memoir from Antproof Case, 1995

Coffee is a brewed beverage prepared from the roasted seeds of several species of an evergreen shrub of the genus Coffea. The two most common sources of coffee beans are the highly regarded Coffea arabica, and the “robusta” form of the hardier Coffea canephora. The latter is resistant to the coffee leaf rust (Hemileia vastatrix), but has a more bitter taste. Coffee plants are cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily in equatorial Latin America, Southeast Asia,and Africa. Once ripe, coffee “berries” are picked, processed, and dried to yield the seeds inside. The seeds are then roasted to varying degrees, depending on the desired flavor, before being ground and brewed to create coffee.

“I have measured out my life with coffee spoons” T.S. Eliot – The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

The traditional method of planting coffee is to place 20 seeds in each hole at the beginning of the rainy season. This method loses about 50% of the seeds’ potential, as about half fail to sprout. A more effective method of growing coffee, used in Brazil, is to raise seedlings in nurseries that are then planted outside at six to twelve months. Coffee is often intercropped with food crops, such as corn, beans, or rice during the first few years of cultivation as farmers become familiar with its requirements

“A beverage as black as ink, useful against numerous illnesses, particularly those of the stomach. Its consumers take it in the morning, quite frankly, in a porcelain cup that is passed around and from which each one drinks a cupful. It is composed of water and the fruit from a bush called bunnu”.—Léonard Rauwolf, Reise in die Morgenländer (in 1583)

Coffee cultivation first took place in southern Arabia; the earliest credible evidence of coffee-drinking appears in the middle of the 15th century in the Sufi shrines of Yemen. In East Africa and Yemen, coffee was used in native religious ceremonies. As these ceremonies conflicted with the beliefs of the Christian church, the Ethiopian Church banned the secular consumption of coffee until the reign of Emperor Menelik II.The beverage was also banned in Ottoman Turkey during the 17th century for political reasons and was associated with rebellious political activities in Europe.

“So in our pride we ordered for breakfast an omelet, toast and coffee and what has just arrived is a tomato salad with onions, a dish of pickles, a big slice of watermelon and two bottles of cream soda”. John Steinbeck

The primary psychoactive chemical in coffee is caffeine, an adenosine antagonist that is known for its stimulant effects. Coffee also contains the monoamine oxidase inhibitors β-carboline and harmane, which may contribute to its psychoactivity.

Coffee Shops

Coffeehouse and coffee shop are related terms for an establishment which primarily serves prepared coffee and other hot beverages. Café or cafe or caff may refer to a coffeehouse, bar, tea room, small and cheap restaurant, transport cafe, or other casual eating and drinking place, depending on the culture.

“I love going to coffee shops and just sitting and listening” Julia Roberts

Meet me at the coffee shop

We can dance like Iggy Pop

Another go in the parking lot

Frewak the cheek on your hotspot – RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS

“I  Judge a restaurant by the bread and by the coffee”. Burt Lancaster

From a cultural standpoint, coffeehouses largely serve as centers of social interaction: the coffeehouse provides social members with a place to congregate, talk, write, read, entertain one another, or pass the time, whether individually or in small groups of two or three people. A coffeehouse serves as an informal club for its regular members.

I’m talkin to the shadows

one o’clock till four,

And Lord, how slow the moments go

when all I do is pour

Black coffee

since the blues caught my eye;

I’m hangin’ out on Monday my Sunday dreams to dry.- SARAH VAUGHAN

“If it wasn’t for the coffee, I’d have no identifiable personality whatsover”. David Letterman

“Coffee is a language in itself” Jackie Chan

“I gave up coffee. It’s almost worse than giving up a lover”. Sandra Bullock

Coffee and Cigarettes is the title of three short films and a 2003 feature film by independent director Jim Jarmusch.

The film is composed of a comic series of short vignettes shot in black and white built on one another to create a cumulative effect, as the characters discuss things such as caffeine popsicles, Paris in the 1920s, and the use of nicotine as an insecticide – all the while sitting around drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes. The theme of the film is absorption in the obsessions, joys, and addictions of life, and there are many common threads between vignettes, such as the Tesla coil, medical knowledge, the suggestion that coffee and cigarettes don’t make for a healthy meal (generally lunch), cousins, The Lees (Cinqué, Joie, and a mention of Spike), delirium, miscommunication, musicians, the similarities between musicianship and medical skill, industrial music, acknowledged fame, and the idea of drinking coffee before sleeping in order to have fast dreams. In each of the segments of the film, the common motif of alternating black and white tiles can be seen in some fashion. The visual use of black and white relates to the theme of interpersonal contrasts, as each vignette features two people who disagree completely yet manage to sit amicably at the same table.

I would love to have another drink of coffee now

And please, darling, help me smoke this one more cigarette now

I don’t want no cream and sugar

‘Cause I’ve got you, now darling – OTIS REDDING

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