Coffee used to be used as medicine
In the 13th century, upon medical advice, or in simple religious ceremonies, coffee was consumed for health problems like kidney stones, gout, smallpox, measles and coughs.
The hotter, the better
Back then, people drank coffee in a different way, from a saucer, as hot as they could stand.
Coffee with eggs
In the United States, until 1880, it was the custom to let coffee boil for minutes or even hours. Then, egg whites or yolks, or even crushed eggshells were added to give a deeper color when milk was added. If eggs were not available, a piece of raw codfish skin was used.
Faith or coffee?
Coffee was consumed in the mosques and was considered to be a healthy habit. Those who tried it liked it and wanted more. Coffee increased attendance at mosques – but was it faith or coffee that attracted the faithful? It was hard to limit its use.
Coffee as proof of love
In many places, coffee was part of marriage contracts. Husbands had to provide their wives with all the coffee they wanted, under penalty of divorce.
Buying others coffee
The British custom of offering rounds of beverages in pubs has its origin in Turkish cafeterias. If a customer saw someone he knew ordering a coffee, he would quickly pay the bill as a courtesy.
Coffee and bad moods don’t go together
In 16th century Arabia, coffee was declared illegal, due to the alteration in moods that it caused. But when he learned of the prohibition, the Sultan of Egypt (who controlled Arabia during this period) revoked the law, since in his country coffee was considered to improve people’s moods, besides being healthy.
Feeling it on your skin
Introduced in Japan only in the 19th century, coffee was given an additional use in that country: people would lie down on the roasted beans. They say it is good for the skin.
With the increasing popularity of the habit of drinking coffee, the first Persian coffee houses opened, the first meeting places. Persian coffee houses became famous for dance, political and cultural discussions, or informal chats.
Different consumption habits for the same product
The Swiss usually drink coffee accompanied with Kirsch, a type of liqueur, and the Germans enjoy coffee with whipped cream. The Belgians like to have their coffee with a small piece of chocolate inside the cup. Brazilians prefer their coffee pure.