Given that over the last twenty years I’ve spent much of my free time writing in random coffee shops, I thought today I’d say something about The Vertue of the Coffee Drinke, as described by Anonymous in 1652. Coffee had just become popular in England--and its pretty clear why.
To benefit fully from coffee, Anonymous tells us how much to drink ("half a pint"), when to drink it ("fasting an hour before, and not Eating an hour after"), and temperature ("to be taken as hot as possibly can be endured," but not so much as to "fetch the Skin off the Mouth, or raise any Blisters.")
(I wish I'd learned this last when I first started drinking coffee; I'm fairly certain I don't have front taste buds anymore).
Coffee, Anonymous assures us, is good for digestion (being "of great use to be taken about three or four of the Clock in the afternoon, as well as in the morning), will improve our sight ("being very good against sore eyes") and will give us a nice happy buzz ( it will "very much quicken the Spirits, and make the heart lightsome.") This last point might have something to do with how well coffee "suppresseth fumes exceedingly," but I could be wrong.
And WAIT! There's more!!!
Coffee will prevail against "the Headache," diminish the "deflusion of Rhemes," (whatever that is), and will even prevent consumption and the cough of the lungs. Coffee will prevent dropsy, gout, the scurvy, any running humors, "hypocondriak windes," and, if you were worried, yes, it will even rid you of the "king's evil."
You can have your flu shots, your hospitals, your vitamins, and your vaccinations... But I'm sticking with Anonymous and my daily cup of coffee. I'm sure I'll be fine. What do you think?
Historian. Mystery writer. Researcher. Teacher. Occasional blogger.