Throughout history, coffee has played an important role in commerce and culture, but in some very famous cases, it has contributed to the realization of greatness. As coffee lovers, we know that with the energy it provides, coffee also gives us a certain joie-de-vivre, inspiration and creativity. For this coffee story, we’re taking a look at such cases that apply to the most crucial of politicians, writers, and musicians.
- Benjamin Franklin
“Among the numerous luxuries of the table…coffee may be considered as one of the most valuable. It excites cheerfulness without intoxication; and the pleasing flow of spirits which it occasions…is never followed by sadness, languor or debility.”
Oh, coffee, even one of the founding fathers of the United States of America was a known lover of yours. In fact, he did most of his business, from meetings about state affairs to social gatherings, in coffee shops. Could it have been a cup of coffee that gave him the energy to experiment with kites?
- Thomas Jefferson
The very author of the Declaration of Independence, and the second founding father on our list, Jefferson is believed to have consumed about a pound (roughly 450g) of coffee each day. You might be familiar with his quote about coffee being the “favorite drink of the civilized world”. Of course, there were strong biases against foreign-made tea, but do you think that a love for coffee contributed to the foundation of the USA?
- Theodore Roosevelt
Possibly the biggest lover of coffee among political figures, Teddy Roosevelt, prominent President of the USA, is thought to have drunk a whole gallon of coffee (a staggering 3.8 liters!) every day. Roosevelt was also a known fan of highly sweetened coffee, although the exact amount of sugar he used is uncertain. Some people are quoting “lumps” as a unit of measure for Teddy’s use of sugar in coffee. Do you think sweetened coffee is a part of his legacy?
- Honoré de Balzac
Now for the coffee-loving literary figures, Honoré de Balzac is one of the most prominent French authors ever. Whenever he engaged in his prolific writing sessions, which could go on for as long as 13 hours a day, Balzac is believed to have had help from no fewer than 50 cups of coffee. Daily. He is quoted as saying “coffee is your ally and writing ceases to be a struggle.” Is there a more evident proof of caffeine-boosted creativity?
Possibly the single most famous coffee lover in history, Voltaire, the second French author on our list, rivaled Balzac’s 50 cups of coffee a day, himself allegedly drinking at least 40. Voltaire attributed the inspiration for his many creations, from essays to treaties on philosophy, to the stimulation he got from drinking coffee. We dare you to find a portrait of him in which he doesn’t smile.
- Ludwig van Beethoven
Are you surprised? Possibly the most famous classical musician of all time, Beethoven was a stickler for perfection in his compositions, and not just the musical ones. The genius is noted as making his own coffee with no more and no fewer than 60 beans! Talk about specialty.. We don’t know just how many times a day he drank it, but it might’ve been a lot. Many attribute his loss of hearing to his submerging his head in cold water to stay awake, so maybe caffeine may have been a healthier substitute.
- Johann Sebastian Bach
Another immense composer, he wrote “Kaffeekantate” (the Coffee Cantata) – which is enough said. The composition tells the tale of a coffee addict that ends with the characters literally singing the praises of coffee and its benefits. Ode to Coffee aside, Bach’s extensive legacy in classical music is an inspiration in and of itself, and if coffee was a contributing factor, then we’ll happily sing along with his Cantata:
“Ah! How sweet coffee tastes,
more delicious than a thousand kisses,
milder than muscatel wine.
Coffee, I have to have coffee,
and, if someone wants to pamper me,
ah, then bring me coffee as a gift!”
The list could go on and on, but the evidence presented is as strong as the finest Italian Espresso. Whether you’re an aspiring musician, amateur artist, or blooming author, or if you simply wish to make good use of the many benefits of drinking coffee, join our club of coffee lovers. If you want to read up before you take a plunge into the dark-brown depths of a nice porcelain cup, make sure to check out Goffee and get familiar with the history and the diversity of coffee.