I begin this blog with a strong cup of black coffee. Espresso actually, straight up with no sugar. How is it you might ask that anyone can drink that mud? I’m not sure actually. It’s an acquired taste developed over years of practice, and/or addiction some might say.
Regardless, I enjoy coffee and used it as a unifying element in my book, between the ancient and modern day stories. I figured, everyone likes coffee. And people have been drinking it since the beginning of time, right? Wrong, I learned when I was in the final editing phase of my book and decided I better research the question. Most sources I found suggest coffee was discovered as a drink 575 AD when a goatherder noticed his flock would not sleep after eating certain red berries. Finding them bitter to his taste, the herdsman threw them into his campfire from which arose a rich and pleasant aroma. Intrigued, he ground the roasted beans into a powder, which he found quite good as a drink when combined with boiling water.
As you can imagine, this knowledge was of great distress to me as I had several characters in my tale, enjoying the brew in the year 262 AD! But I continued to dig and eventually found a source which mentioned much dispute revolving around the question of which came first-coffee or tea. That source also claimed tea is documented as a drink during the mid-third century, and that was all I needed to leave my story alone. In any case, I love coffee and without giving too much away I’ll ask, “Who’s to say the first coffee shop wasn’t opened by a burly man with a mischievous smile in ancient Ephesus and then destroyed by barbarians, with the drink being rediscovered some three hundred years later by a goatherder? One can always speculate…
Tell me what you think, and more importantly, how you like your coffee?