The Virtues of Coffee, Chocolate, and Tea

This wonderful little piece comes from Slate in the Vault blog.  It’s a great broadside advertisement from a 1690 coffeehouse entrepreneur claiming the benefits of our now most commonly used drug on Earth, caffeine.  Coffee was known in Europe but new as a common drink and still a bit suspect since it came from Arabia via the Arabs.

VirtuesOfCoffee

The digital “original” is available through the Harvard University Library for download, or just click the image above to have a closer look.

Here’s a good summary of the health benefits claimed in the advertisement from the Slate article by Rebecca Onion:

Price’s advertisement’s litany of claims for coffee’s health benefits mix advantages we’d recognize today with others that seem far-fetched. The authors observed that coffee-drinking populations didn’t get common diseases: “the Stone” (kidney stones); “Scurvey, Gout, Dropsie” (edema, or retained fluid). Speaking to an audience that still believed in the theory of the four humors, they argued that coffee, being “drying,” would help fix “moist and waterish Humors.”  People who couldn’t hear well, or suffered from lethargy, want of appetite, or swooning, would also find the drink helpful. “It’s experimentally good to prevent Miscarriage,” they added, apparently not wanting to claim too much.

I hope I can, at least, avoid the “moist and waterish humors” for some time to come.

I think it’s time for a Sunday afternoon cup of coffee, just in case…

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Banished to New York:

… an interesting historical post about the fate of traveling folk in 17th century Scotland

Scotland had draconian laws against travelling folk. Hostility towards “Egyptians” took off under King James VI, who was also famously opposed to Border Reivers, Gaelic-speaking Highlanders, alleged Witches, Protestant religious dissenters and tobacco smokers. Edinburgh, 13 May 1682: ‘His Royall Highnes his Maties heigh Comisioner and lords of privie counsel being informed by the Earl […]

Read the rest of this interesting but seldom taught piece of history by clicking the link below.

via Banished to New York: Seven Gypsies in 1682 #History #Scotland — Jardine’s Book of Martyrs