Recently, the Wire ran an interesting post on the brief history of Coffee. It is written greatly in an incisive, affecting manner that every coffee lover is sure to feel an immediate intimacy and a grown affection for the beverage. And, as I kept searching on coffee in the world of Internet, I came across another a succinct article, written altogether in a different period of time, where this simple everyday drink has been reduced to an evil that seeks its victim, and even goes on to suggest that a ‘man of spirit must therefore avoid going out in public’ after consuming it on an empty stomach. It is here: “The Pleasures and pains of Coffee” by the great Mastro, Honore de Balzac.
“This coffee falls into your stomach, a sack whose velvety interior is lined with tapestries of suckers and papillae. The coffee finds nothing else in the sack, and so it attacks these delicate and voluptuous linings; it acts like a food and demands digestive juices; it wrings and twists the stomach for these juices, appealing as a pythoness appeals to her god…………………….From that moment on, everything becomes agitated. Ideas quick-march into motion like battalions of a grand army to its legendary fighting ground, and the battle rages. Memories charge in, bright flags on high; the cavalry of metaphor deploys with a magnificent gallop; the artillery of logic rushes up with clattering wagons and cartridges; on imagination’s orders, sharpshooters sight and fire; forms and shapes and characters rear up; the paper is spread with ink“