Thursday marks National Coffee Day around the nation. From uber coffee-friendly Seattle to the on-the-run, on-the-go coffee lovers of Ney York City, the United States got its fill of the wonderful concoction.
Recently, Washington, D.C. was selected at the sixth most caffeinated U.S. city, with Chicago and New York City leading the charge (and Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles representing the top five spaces respectfully).
On meetup.com there are 106 coffee related meetups with a twenty-five mile radius of the District of Columbia.
It’s no secret that Americans love coffee. There is someone who might not think much about National Coffee Day. That person would be former Massachusetts Governor and this weeks’ Republican president front runner Mitt Romney.
Mitt Romney doesn’t support the richness of the elixir, and the wonderful memories that the smell can conjure up.
No. Romney doesn’t hate coffee. He doesn’t dislike the millions around the worlds who drink it. The fact is, Romney is a Mormons, and Mormons according to Lura Lee, a contributor for the blog I Need Coffee, writes that the Latter Day Saints (LDS) believes their prophet Joseph Smith received a spontaneous manifestation of God’s insight for living correctly on February 27, 1833. She writes, “Joseph Smith was moved to ask for God’s insight on various matter; one being the consumption of “warm drinks” and “strong drinks.”
“That inasmuch as any man drinketh wine or strong drink among you, behold it is not good, neither meet in the sight of your Father, only in assembling yourselves together to offer up your sacraments before him,” and “And again, hot drinks are not for the body or belly,” Lee says is taken from the Book of Mormon.
Now she goes on to say that the LDS leaders never actually recommend getting rid of any drink that might be habit forming but:
“With reference to cola drinks, the Church has never officially taken a position on this matter, but the leaders of the Church have advised, and we do now specifically advise, against the use of any drink containing harmful habit-forming drugs under circumstances that would result in acquiring the habit. Any beverage that contains ingredients harmful to the body should be avoided.”
(Clifford J. Stratton, “Caffeine–The Subtle Addiction,” Tambuli, Mar. 1990, 25)
Lee theorizes that Mormons decision to shy away from coffee is born out of a desire to separate from the common, everyday world because “Mormons separate from worldly temptations in order to be closer to God,” she further wrote.
If her words are true, Romney and Mormons are missing out on something good. Coffee is grown on trees cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily in equatorial Latin America, Southeast Asia, South Asia and Africa. Green (unroasted) coffee is one of the most traded agricultural commodities in the world.
The liquid has played a crucial role in many societies, like the northeast region of Ethiopia, and the cultivation of coffee first expanded in the Arab world. Historians believe coffee’s earliest credible introduction appears in the middle of the 15th century, in the Sufi shrines of Yemen in southern Arabia.
The Muslim world allowed the spread into India, Italy, then to the rest of Europe, to Indonesia, and eventually, the good ol’ U.S.A. In East Africa and Yemen, it was used in religious ceremonies. As a result, the Ethiopian Church banned its secular consumption, a ban in effect until the reign of Emperor Menelik II of Ethiopia.
It was banned in Ottoman Turkey during the 17th century for political reasons, and was associated with rebellious political activities in Europe.
In 2004, coffee was the top agricultural export for twelve countries, and was the world’s seventh-largest legal agricultural export by value in 2005.
So get yourself a cup of coffee, have a seat, leave a comment and read more.