Preparing to give up coffee addiction, now into my 4th day without COFFEE, visit acupuncturist. I leave feeling calmer, a little more mindful and anxiety free. Home to “once more” tackle my room, do justice to my new MacBook. Coffee, anxiety, disorder, they seem to go together. And some related health problems. MacBook an inspiration to get the fucking room in order! Sorting through my papers I come across “Coffee Without Compromise,” a magazine piece I wrote for Monterey Life and Taste Magazine. Those were the days! Working as a food reviewer. For one column (I was known as “Mr. Taste Test”) I visited ten Santa Cruz County coffee houses in search of the BEST cappuccino.
Ever the academic, I began with this entry from Samuel Pepys DIARY, written in 1663:
“On the evening of 3rd of February, 1663, I just looked in on my way home from Covent Garden, at the great coffee house there where I never was before; where Dryden, the poet I knew at Cambridge, and all the wits of the town were assembled.”
* In the 17th Century, coffee was associated with health. The first known coffee advertisement in 1652 claimed that coffee “is good against the eyes… excellent to prevent and cure the dropsy, gout and scurvey.”
* By 1700, there were more than 2,000 coffee houses in London. Poor students paid a penny for a ‘dish’ of coffee–the price of admission–to listen to such illustrious conversationalists as Alexander Pope, John Dryden and Jonathan Swift. The coffee houses became known as ‘Penny Universities.’
* In 1732, Johann Sebastian Bach paid high tribute to the pleasures of a good cup of coffee. “Most precious of blisses,” sang the immortal composer in his ‘Coffee Cantata.’
–more to come–
[from “Coffee Without Compromise,” Mr. Taste Test]
Wed., 8:30 PM – 1.28.09
Updike’s death at age 76 – notes, jottings in course of Tom Ashbrook’s NPR show… plan to re-read Pigeon Feathers, Rabbit Run… Sue Miller and critic William Pritchard… first use of MacBook in this way, i.e., as a notebook, carrying into the kitchen…
We were put on earth to praise creation, Updike is quoted as saying. Updike a self-declared Christian.
One caller praises him, “That man can make even psoriasis interesting…”