Coffee is deemed by most Americans as more than a mere commodity. It’s considered a necessity. In fact, the average American spends over $1000 in coffee consumption per year. That’s a lot of coffee drinkin’!
Coffee has been a feel-good, taste-good beverage for hundreds of years. However, it was not always as acceptable to consume as it is now. When coffee first made its debut into the Western world, it was initially met with skepticism. In some places, even the morality of drinking coffee was questioned. That is, until Pope Clement VII took a swig and put his seal of approval on the hot new beverage.
Still in some countries, coffee was slow to be looked upon by leaders as “ok.” Like in Sweden.
Coffee first arrived in Sweden sometime around 1674 but was used very little until the turn of the 18th century. Then it became in vogue among the wealthy. But, in 1746, an edict was issued by King Gustav III against coffee and tea due to “the misuse and excesses of tea and coffee drinking”.
(What would ‘ole Gustav III think of us now days!?)
Heavy taxes were levied on consumption. Failure to pay the tax resulted in fines and confiscation of cups and dishes. Later, coffee was banned completely. But, despite the ban, consumption continued. Convicts were forced to drink while watched by doctors to see who dies. It didn’t work. And, eventually, coffee became accepted.
Now, we coffee drinkers can enjoy our favorite beverage without concerns of being morally compromised or fear of being convicted as a criminal.