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Hva ga opphav til den utbredte populariteten til kaffe?

Hva ga opphav til den utbredte populariteten til kaffe?


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Hva ga opphav til den utbredte populariteten til kaffe? Var det for eksempel en markedsføringsinnsats fra land med kolonier som var egnet for å dyrke kaffe? Var det antatt helsemessige fordeler som gjorde det populært? Ble det populært spesielt for koffeininnholdet?


Dette er et bredt spørsmål, men jeg synes du bør undersøke hva folk sa om kaffe i drikkens tidlige historie.

"... det drev bort tretthet og slapphet, og førte til kroppen en viss spenstighet og kraft."

--Abd al-Qadir al-Jaziri, 1587, sitert i The World of Caffeine av Bennett Alan Weinberg, Bonnie K. Bealer.

"En svart drink som blekk, nyttig mot mange sykdommer, spesielt magesekken."

-Léonard Rauwolf, Reise in die Morgenländer, 1583, sitert i Wikipedia.

"Det som gjør at den er kald, er dens stifticknesse. Om sommeren er det av erfaring funnet å føre til tørking av reume og flegmatick hoste og destillasjoner, og åpning av hindringer og provosering av urin. Det er nå kjent av navnet på Kohwah. Når det er tørket og grundig kokt, demper det blodets ebulition, er bra mot det lille poxet og meslingene, de blodig kviser; men forårsaker svimmel hode, og får mager mye, forårsaker våkning og Emrods, og svir lyst, og avler noen ganger melankolsk. "

-Dr. Edward Pocoke, Drikkens natur Kauhi, eller kaffe, og bæret den er laget av, beskrevet av en arabisk phisitian, 1659. Sitert i Alt om kaffe av William H. Ukers, 1922.

Følgende er også sitert i Alt om kaffe:

"denne drikken tar de hver morgen fastende i kamrene sine, ut av en lerkrukke, og er veldig varme, mens vi her drikker aquacomposita [49] om morgenen: og de sier at det styrker og får dem til å varme, bryte vind og åpner enhver stopp. "

- Bernard Ten Broeke Paludanus, 1590-årene

"... Å drikke en viss brennevin, som de kaller Coffe, som er laget av seede omtrent som sennepsfrø, som vil berolige hjernen som vår Metheglin."

- William Parry, 1601

Herregud, her er en samling av påstandene om kaffe rundt den tiden, fra Alt om kaffe:

  • "Bra for hodet og magen."
  • "Det gir god sammenblanding og driver bort døsighet."
  • "... hjelper, som de sier, fordøyelsen og skaffer alacrity ..."
  • "... Det er veldig bra å hjelpe fordøyelsen, å gjøre åndene raskere og rense blodet."
  • "... trøster hjernen og hjertet, og hjelper fordøyelsen."
  • "... Sunt, sier de, hvis det er varmt, for det utviser melankoli."
  • "... tørker dårlig humor i magen, trøster hjernen, forårsaker aldri drukkenskap eller annen surfeit, og er en ufarlig underholdning av godt fellesskap."

Så poenget her er at du hadde mange som spredte ordet om kaffe - noe som tyder på at det driver bort tretthet, men også at det hadde medisinske fordeler. Det er et sentralstimulerende middel, og folk har en tendens til å like sentralstimulerende midler, og dette har en ganske behagelig lukt når det tilberedes - jeg tror muntlig muntlig antagelse var nok til å utvide populariteten.

--


Jeg fant det følgende øyeblikket interessant med hensyn til kaffeadopsjonen. Kaffen kunne ha blitt ekskommunisert fra katolicismen, men ble reddet av pave Clement VIII (1535-1605) og erklært som en virkelig kristen drikke. (Klikk på sitatet for å se konteksten i sitatet)

"Ja, denne Satans drink er så deilig at det ville være synd å la de vantro eksklusivt bruke den. Vi skal lure Satan ved å døpe den og gjøre den til en virkelig kristen drikke."

av Ukers, William H. (William Harrison), Alt om kaffe, Gutenberg -utgaven


Jeg tror det er mer et spørsmål om biologi enn historie. Kaffe:

  • Har effekter som er nesten helt positive i moderate doser
  • Har effekter som generelt kan sees på som positive for samfunnet. (Dvs. får folk til å jobbe hardere.)
  • Har ingen åpenbare negative effekter
  • Er avhengighetsskapende

Et stoff med disse funksjonene ser ut til å være populært.


Forsikringens historie

Hvis risikoen er som et ulmende kull som kan utløse en brann når som helst, er forsikring sivilisasjonens brannslukningsapparat. Hovedbegrepet forsikring - det å spre risiko blant mange - er like gammelt som menneskelig eksistens. Enten det var å jakte gigantisk elg i en gruppe for å spre risikoen for å bli den som ble drept eller sende frakt i flere forskjellige campingvogner for å unngå å miste hele forsendelsen til en marauding -stamme, har folk alltid vært forsiktige med risiko. Land og innbyggere må spre risiko blant et stort antall mennesker og flytte risiko til enheter som kan håndtere den. Slik oppstod forsikring.

Viktige takeaways

  • Det noen anser som den første skriftlige forsikringen, ble funnet på et gammelt babylonsk monument.
  • I middelalderens Europa dukket laugssystemet opp, med medlemmer som betalte inn i et basseng som dekket tapene deres.
  • På 1600 -tallet ville skip som seilte til den nye verden sikre flere investorer å spre risikoen rundt.
  • Den fryktelige storbrannen i London i 1666 ga opphav til brannforsikring.
  • Livsforsikring ble mer utbredt og rimelig etter oppfinnelsen av dødelighetstabeller, noe som bidro til å forutsi levetid.

Kaffe og borgerkrigen

Kaffe har hatt en lang og velstående historie med utbredt opprinnelse, men forbruket under borgerkrigen, og alternativt de unike erstatningene for mangel på kaffe i konføderasjonen, ble brakt til forbløffende høyder. I USA ble kaffe ikke allment akseptert før den amerikanske revolusjonen, da Storbritannia implementerte skatter og avgifter på importert te. Disse tariffene gjorde amerikanske kolonister rasende, og til slutt utløste Boston Tea Party i desember 1773. Som et resultat ble patrioter overtalt til å nyte kaffe i stedet, ettersom te forble upatriotisk. I et brev til kona erklærte John Adams at han ønsket ærlig smuglet te, men da han ble nektet og tilbød kaffe i stedet på et vertshus i Falmouth, Massachusetts, uttalte han: “Jeg har drukket kaffe hver ettermiddag siden, og har båret det veldig vi vil. Te må fraskrives universelt. Jeg må bli avvent, og jo før, jo bedre. ” Andre patrioter fulgte etter, og så usmakelig som kaffe en gang kan ha virket, ble det den foretrukne drinken etter revolusjonen.

"Boston Tea Party" av W.W. Cooper. Gravering i The History of North America, 1789. Library of Congress

I oktober 1832 ble en endring i hærens rasjoner lagt til klatrehastigheten for kaffeimport: President Andrew Jackson erstattet kaffe og sukker med en soldats daglige rasjoner med rom og konjakk, med henvisning til klager fra militære offiserer om insubordinasjon og tilfeldige skader som følge av overdreven overgivelse. Med denne endringen økte importen av kaffe til USA fra 12 millioner pund per år til over 38 millioner pund. Kaffe ble alternativet til alkoholforbruk, og hjalp soldater med å fylle drivstoff, holde fokus og presse seg gjennom vanskelige situasjoner. På samme tid populariserte endringen i militære rasjoner kaffe ytterligere hos den amerikanske offentligheten, og i 1840 hadde New Orleans blitt den nest største importøren av kaffe i USA, takket være den relative beliggenheten til Brasil. Ved utbruddet av borgerkrigen importerte USA over 182 millioner pund kaffe, og New Orleans distribuerte bønner både i de sørlige delstatene og inn til New England.

Denne store importen av kaffe til New Orleans endret seg etter hvert som sørstatene løsrev seg fra unionen i april 1861. I et forsøk på å forhindre krig og bringe de opprørske statene raskt tilbake i unionen, erklærte president Abraham Lincoln en blokade for alle konfødererte stater en uke etter løsrivelse. Proklamasjonen forhindret handel eller kjøp av varer, forsyninger og våpen til eller ut av tolv havner i hele konføderasjonen. I tillegg vil alle skip, sammen med gjenstander i fartøyene, finne at de driver forretninger med noen av de elleve opprørsstatene, vil bli fortapt for USAs regjering.

President Abraham Lincoln beordrer blokaden av Sør, 1861. Tidligere fra Raab -samlingen

Fagforeningsgeneral Winfield Scott utvidet ytterligere Lincolns proklamasjon om å blokkere havnene ved å foreslå Anaconda -planen, ikke bare kutte handelen inn i de sørlige havnene, men sikte på å stoppe enhver handel opp eller nedover Mississippi -elven. Før krigen forble varer opp og nedover elven fra New Orleans en av de raskeste måtene å transportere og distribuere varer til de sørlige delstatene. Ved opprettelsen av denne blokaden nedover Mississippi-elven var general Scotts håp å ikke bare kutte handelen, skille statene fra hverandre, men å unngå all-out krig og blodsutgytelse så mye som mulig. Importen og lett bevegelse av kaffe, sammen med sukker, jern, stål og melasse, stoppet.

Tegneserie som illustrerer general Winfield Scotts 'Anaconda Plan', 1861, av J.B. Elliot. Library of Congress

Denne doble blokkeringen av over 4.000 miles sørlige kyst og elvebredden oppover Mississippi hadde ikke den tiltenkte effekten general Scott hadde håpet på å avslutte krigen før den offisielt startet, men presset de konfødererte statene til å endre handlingsforløpet. Ved å forhandle med europeiske entreprenører og privatpersoner, var konføderasjonen i stand til å løpe ut av unionsflåten i en periode: den store vidden av territorium var nesten umulig for unionen å effektivt patruljere, og å fokusere innsatsen på de største havnebyene var problematisk . I august 1861 klaget Union Navy -offiser Lewis H. West mens han var på vakt i Alexandria over at konfødererte privatister "kunne komme og gå som de vil", med hell navigere i unionens blokade og deponere varer til sårt tiltrengte tropper. Ett år senere hadde Lewis ikke ombestemt seg: Mens han tjenestegjorde i Charleston, South Carolina, skrev han i et brev til hjemmet: "Blokkeringen er omtrent den samme som den alltid har vært. Det har ikke vært en natt de siste to ukene at dampskip ikke har kjørt inn og ut, ikke en av dem har blitt fanget, og det vil sannsynligvis gå til slutten. ”

Confederate Blockade Runner, Harper’s Weekly, 3. september 1864. Library of Congress

Hvis privatpersoner kom seg gjennom blokaden, ble transport og distribusjon av varer i hele det sørlige landskapet uten å bli fanget den neste oppgaven. I 1863 kommenterte en soldat gjennom Shelby, Tennessee, "General Wheeler fanget og brente tre [konfødererte] transporter på Cumberland lastet med proviant. En av dem var full av kaffe. De kan ikke være avhengige av å skaffe forsyninger i denne delen av landet, for vi har nesten konsumert nesten alt som er å finne. »Til tross for Unionens begrensninger hadde blokaden sin tiltenkte effekt etter hvert som krigen gikk, med færre og færre forsyninger som gjorde det til de konfødererte troppene. Som et resultat ble kaffe, en stift for mange i Sør før krigen, en luksus for både troppene og for de som fortsatt var på hjemmefronten.


Hvordan poteten forandret verden

Når potetplanter blomstrer, sender de opp fem-flikede blomster som floker felt som fete lilla stjerner. Av noen beretninger likte Marie Antoinette blomstene så godt at hun la dem i håret. Mannen hennes, Louis XVI, la en i knapphullet og inspirerte til en kort mote der det franske aristokratiet svingte rundt med potetplanter på klærne. Blomstene var en del av et forsøk på å overtale franske bønder til å plante og franske spisesteder til å spise denne rare nye arten.

Fra denne historien

Video: Avdekke historien til poteten

Andinske folk lærte tilsynelatende å legge leire til ville poteter for å nøytralisere knollenes naturlige giftstoffer senere utviklet de ikke -toksiske varianter. (Martin Mejia / AP Images) Det ble sagt at Marie Antoinette hadde slitt potetblomster i håret. (Dagli Orti / Mus ée du Ch âteau de Versailles / Art Archive) Selv om poteten nå er forbundet med monokultur i industriell skala, har International Potato Center i Peru bevart nesten 5000 varianter. (Martin Mejia / AP Images) Spanske oppdagere etterlignet potetspisere i Sør-Amerika, ofte motvillig. (Mary Evans Picture Library / Everett Collection) Antoine-Augustin Parmentier fremmet poteten i Frankrike for å stoppe brødopptøyer. (Mary Evans Picture Library / Everett Collection) Irlands befolkning har ennå ikke kommet seg etter potetbrannen 1845–52. (The Granger Collection, New York / The Granger Collection) Feilen kjent som Colorado potetbille slukte ikke poteter først. (Jose B. Ruiz / naturepl.com) Da et pigment ble funnet for å drepe billen, ble insektmiddelindustrien født. (Theodore Gray) På 40 år utvunnet Peru omtrent 13 millioner tonn guano fra Chincha -øyene. (Alexander Gardner / NYPL) Chu ñoEn form for potet frosset, tint, presset og tørket Inca -hærer. (Eitan Abramovich / AFP / Getty Images)

Fotogalleri

I dag er poteten den femte viktigste avlingen i verden, etter hvete, mais, ris og sukkerrør. Men på 1700 -tallet var knollen en oppsiktsvekkende nyhet, skremmende for noen, forvirrende for andre — del av en global økologisk kramper satt av Christopher Columbus.

For rundt 250 millioner år siden besto verden av en enkelt gigantisk landmasse som nå er kjent som Pangea. Geologiske krefter brøt Pangea fra hverandre og skapte kontinentene og halvkuleene som er kjent i dag. Over tidene utviklet de separate hjørnene av jorden veldig forskjellige suiter av planter og dyr. Columbus ’ -reiser gjenskaper sømmen til Pangea for å låne et uttrykk fra Alfred W. Crosby, historikeren som først beskrev denne prosessen. I det Crosby kalte Columbian Exchange, kolliderte verdens langadskilte økosystemer brått og blandet i et biologisk bedlam som ligger til grunn for mye av historien vi lærer på skolen. Potetblomsten i Louis XVIs knapphull, en art som hadde krysset Atlanterhavet fra Peru, var både et emblem for den colombianske børsen og et av de viktigste aspektene.

Sammenlignet med korn er knoller iboende mer produktive. Hvis hodet til en hvete- eller risplante vokser for stort, vil planten falle om, med fatale resultater. Knoller som vokser under jorden, er ikke begrenset av resten av anlegget. I 2008 gravde en libanesisk bonde opp en potet som veide nesten 25 kilo. Det var større enn hodet hans.

Mange forskere tror at potetens ankomst til Nord -Europa betydde en slutt på hungersnød der. (Mais, en annen amerikansk avling, spilte en lignende, men mindre rolle i Sør -Europa.) Mer enn det, som historikeren William H. McNeill har hevdet, førte poteten til imperium: Ved å mate raskt voksende befolkninger tillot [det] en håndfull europeiske nasjoner for å hevde herredømme over det meste av verden mellom 1750 og 1950. ” Poteten drev med andre ord fremveksten av Vesten.

Like viktig var den europeiske og nordamerikanske adopsjonen av poteten malen for moderne landbruk, det såkalte agroindustrielle komplekset. Ikke bare bar Columbian Exchange poteten over Atlanterhavet, den brakte også verdens første intensive gjødsel: Peruansk guano. Og da poteter falt til angrep på en annen import, Colorado -potetbille, vendte panikkbønder seg til det første kunstige plantevernmidlet: en form for arsen. Konkurranse om å produsere stadig sterkere arsenblandinger lanserte den moderne plantevernmiddelindustrien. På 1940- og 1950-tallet skapte forbedrede avlinger, høyintensiv gjødsel og kjemiske plantevernmidler den grønne revolusjonen, eksplosjonen av landbruksproduktivitet som forvandlet gårder fra Illinois til Indonesia og satte i gang et politisk argument om matforsyningen som vokser mer intens av dag.

I 1853 reiste en Alsace -billedhugger ved navn Andreas Friederich en statue av Sir Francis Drake i Offenburg, i sørvest -Tyskland. Den skildret den engelske oppdagelsesreisende som stirret inn i horisonten på kjent visjonær måte. Hans høyre hånd hvilte på sverdets fest. Hans venstre grep om en potetplante. Sir Francis Drake, og#8221 uttalte basen,

formidler av poteten i Europa
i vår Herres år 1586.
Millioner av mennesker
som dyrker jorden
velsigne hans udødelige minne.

Statuen ble trukket ned av nazister i begynnelsen av 1939, i bølgen av antisemittiske og anti-utenlandske tiltak som fulgte det voldsomme vanviddet kjent som Kristallnacht. Å ødelegge statuen var en forbrytelse mot kunst, ikke historie: Drake introduserte nesten ikke poteten til Europa. Og selv om han hadde det, tilhører mesteparten av æren for poteten de andinske folkene som domestiserte den.

Geografisk sett er Andesfjellene en usannsynlig fødested for en stor stiftavling. Den lengste fjellkjeden på planeten, den danner en iskald barriere på Stillehavskysten i Sør -Amerika 5500 kilometer lang og mange steder mer enn 22 000 fot høy. Aktive vulkaner spredt over lengden er forbundet med geologiske feil, som skyver mot hverandre og utløser jordskjelv, flom og skred. Selv når landet er seismisk stille, er det andinske klimaet aktivt. Temperaturene i høylandet kan svinge fra 75 grader Fahrenheit til under frysepunktet om noen timer — luften er for tynn til å holde på varmen.

Fra dette lovende terrenget sprang en av verdens største kulturtradisjoner ut. Selv da egypterne bygde pyramidene, reiste andinerne sine egne monumentale templer og seremonielle torg. I årtusener sprang stridende folk om makten fra Ecuador til Nord -Chile. Mest kjent i dag er inkaene, som grep store deler av Andesfjellene i et voldsomt blits, bygde flotte motorveier og byer som var praktfulle med gull, og deretter falt for spansk sykdom og spanske soldater. Fjellkulturene skilte seg påfallende fra hverandre, men alle ble næret av knoll- og rotvekster, poteten viktigste.

Vill poteter er snøret med solanin og tomat, giftige forbindelser som antas å forsvare plantene mot angrep fra farlige organismer som sopp, bakterier og mennesker. Matlaging bryter ofte ned slike kjemiske forsvar, men solanin og tomat er upåvirket av varme. På fjellet slikker guanaco og vicu ña (ville slektninger til lamaen) leire før de spiser giftige planter. Giftstoffene fester seg mer teknisk, og absorberer de fine leirepartiklene i dyrene i magen og passerer gjennom fordøyelsessystemet uten å påvirke det. Etterligne denne prosessen, lærte fjellfolk tilsynelatende å dyppe ville poteter i en “ saus ” laget av leire og vann. Til slutt avlet de mindre giftige poteter, selv om noen av de gamle, giftige variantene er igjen, favorisert for deres motstand mot frost. Leirestøv selges fortsatt i peruanske og bolivianske markeder for å følge dem.

Spiselig leire har på ingen måte utmattet regionens kulinariske kreativitet. For å være sikker, spiste indiske indianere poteter kokt, bakt og moset, slik europeere gjør nå. Men poteter ble også kokt, skrelt, hakket og tørket for å lage papas secas gjæret i stillestående vann for å skape klebrig, luktende toqosh og malt til masse, dynket i en mugge og filtrert for å produsere almid ón de pappa (potetstivelse). Mest allestedsnærværende var chu ño, som lages ved å spre poteter ute for å fryse på kalde netter, deretter tine dem i morgensolen. Gjentatte fryse-tine sykluser forvandler spudene til myke, saftige klatter. Bønder klemmer ut vannet for å produsere chu ño: stive, isoporlignende knuter mye mindre og lettere enn de originale knollene. Tilberedt til en krydret Andesgryte, de ligner gnocchi, potetmel-dumplings i sentrale Italia. Chu ño kan oppbevares i mange år uten kjøling og forsikring mot dårlig høst. Det var maten som opprettholdt Inka -hærer.

Selv i dag feirer noen landsbyboere i Andean potetthøsten mye som deres forfedre gjorde i århundrer tidligere. Umiddelbart etter å ha trukket poteter fra bakken, hoper familier på åkeren jord i jordiske, igloformede ovner 18 tommer høye. I ovnene går stilkene, i tillegg til halm, børste, trebiter og kumøkk. Når ovnene blir hvite av varme, legger kokker ferske poteter på asken for baking. Damp krøller seg fra varm mat til den klare, kalde luften. Folk dypper potetene i grovt salt og spiselig leire. Nattvind bærer lukten av å steke poteter i det som virker som miles.

Poteten Andeans stekt før kontakt med europeere var ikke den moderne spud de dyrket forskjellige varianter i forskjellige høyder. De fleste i en landsby plantet noen få grunnleggende typer, men de fleste plantet også andre for å ha forskjellige smaker. (Andinske bønder produserer i dag moderne raser i Idaho-stil for markedet, men beskriver dem som kjedelige for yahoos i byer.) Resultatet var kaotisk mangfold. Poteter i en landsby i en høyde kan se vilt ut i motsetning til de noen få kilometer unna i en annen landsby i en annen høyde.

I 1995 fant et peruansk-amerikansk forskerteam at familier i en fjelldal i sentrum av Peru vokste i gjennomsnitt 10,6 tradisjonelle varianter —landraces, som de kalles, hver med sitt eget navn. I tilstøtende landsbyer besøkte Karl Zimmerer, miljøforsker ved Pennsylvania State University, felt med opptil 20 landraces. Det internasjonale potetsenteret i Peru har bevart nesten 5000 varianter. Utvalget av poteter i et enkelt Andesfelt, observerte Zimmerer, “ overstiger mangfoldet av ni tiendedeler av potetavlingen i hele USA. Som et resultat er Andes-poteten mindre en enkelt identifiserbar art enn en boblende stuing av beslektede genetiske enheter. Å sortere det har gitt taksonomer hodepine i flere tiår.

De første spanjolene i regionen og bandet ledet av Francisco Pizarro, som landet i 1532 og oppdaget indianere som spiste disse rare, runde gjenstandene og etterlignet dem, ofte motvillig. Nyheten om den nye maten spredte seg raskt. I løpet av tre tiår eksporterte spanske bønder så langt borte som Kanariøyene poteter til Frankrike og Nederland (som den gang var en del av det spanske imperiet). Den første vitenskapelige beskrivelsen av poteten dukket opp i 1596, da den sveitsiske naturforskeren Gaspard Bauhin tildelte den navnet Solanum tuberosum esculentum (senere forenklet til Solanum tuberosum).

I motsetning til noen tidligere europeiske avlinger, dyrkes poteter ikke fra frø, men fra små biter av knoller — de feilnavnede “ såpotetene. ” Kontinentale bønder betraktet denne fremmede maten med fascinert mistanke, noen trodde den var et afrodisiakum, andre en årsak til feber eller spedalskhet. Filosofkritikeren Denis Diderot tok en mellomstilling i sitt Leksikon (1751-65), Europas første generelle kompendium for opplysningstanken. Uansett hvordan du forbereder den, er roten smakløs og stivelsesrik, og han skrev. Det kan ikke betraktes som en hyggelig mat, men det gir rikelig, rimelig sunn mat for menn som ikke vil ha annet enn næring. ” Diderot så på poteten som vind. han ga den tommelen opp. “Hva er vind, ” spurte han, “ til bønder og arbeideres sterke kropper? ”

Med slike halvhjertede påtegninger spredte poteten seg sakte. Da Preussen ble rammet av hungersnød i 1744, måtte kong Frederick den store, en potetentusiast, beordre bønderne å spise knollene. I England fordømte bønder fra 1700-tallet S. tuberosum som en forhåndsspeider for hatet romersk katolisisme. “Ingen poteter, ingen popery! ” var et valgparole i 1765. Frankrike var spesielt treg med å adoptere spudden. Inn i kampen gikk Antoine-Augustin Parmentier, poteten Johnny Appleseed.

Utdannet som farmasøyt tjenestegjorde Parmentier i hæren under syvårskriget og ble fanget av prøysserne fem ganger. Under flere fengselsopphold spiste han lite, men poteter, en diett som holdt ham ved god helse. Hans overraskelse over dette resultatet førte til at Parmentier ble en banebrytende ernæringskjemiker etter at krigen var over, i 1763 viet han resten av livet til å utrope S. tuberosum.

Timingen til Parmentier var bra. Etter at Louis XVI ble kronet i 1775, opphev han priskontrollen på korn. Brødprisene skjøt opp og satte gang i det som ble kjent som Melkrigen: mer enn 300 sivile forstyrrelser i 82 byer. Parmentier uttalte utrettelig at Frankrike ville slutte å kjempe om brød hvis bare innbyggerne ville spise poteter. I mellomtiden satte han opp det ene reklamestuntet etter det andre: presenterte en potetmiddag for gjester i høyt samfunn (historien sier at Thomas Jefferson, en av gjestene, var så glad for at han introduserte pommes frites til Amerika) visstnok overtalt kongen og dronningen å bære potetblomster og plante 40 dekar poteter i utkanten av Paris, vel vitende om at sultne vanlige ville stjele dem.

Ved å opphøye poteten endret Parmentier den uforvarende. Hele Europa ’s poteter stammer fra noen få knoller sendt over havet av nysgjerrige spanjoler. Når bønder planter tuberbiter i stedet for frø, er de resulterende spirene kloner. Ved å oppfordre til potetdyrking i massiv skala, promoterte Parmentier ubevisst forestillingen om å plante enorme områder med kloner og#8212a ekte monokultur.

Virkningene av denne transformasjonen var så slående at enhver generell historie i Europa uten oppføring i indeksen for S. tuberosum bør ignoreres. Sult var en kjent tilstedeværelse i Europa fra 1600- og 1700-tallet. Byer ble rimelig godt tilrettelagt i de fleste årene, kornmagasinene deres ble nøye overvåket, men landsmenn dunket på et stup. Frankrike, historikeren Fernand Braudel en gang beregnet, hadde 40 landsdekkende hungersnød mellom 1500 og 1800, mer enn en per tiår. Denne forferdelige figuren er en undervurdering, skrev han, fordi den utelater hundrevis og hundrevis av lokal hungersnød. ” Frankrike var ikke eksepsjonelt. England hadde 17 nasjonale og store regionale hungersnød mellom 1523 og 1623. Kontinentet kunne rett og slett ikke mate seg selv på en pålitelig måte.

Poteten endret alt det. Hvert år forlot mange bønder brakk så mye som halvparten av kornlandet for å hvile jorda og bekjempe ugress (som ble brøytet om sommeren). Nå kunne småbrukere dyrke poteter på brakklandet, kontrollere ugresset ved å hakke. Fordi poteter var så produktive, var det effektive resultatet, når det gjelder kalorier, å doble mattilførselen i Europa.

For første gang i Vest -Europas historie var det funnet en endelig løsning på matproblemet, avsluttet den belgiske historikeren Christian Vandenbroeke på 1970 -tallet. På slutten av 1700 -tallet hadde poteter blitt i store deler av Europa det de var i Andes —a -stiftet. Omtrent 40 prosent av irene spiste ingen fast mat annet enn poteter, tallet var mellom 10 og 30 prosent i Nederland, Belgia, Preussen og kanskje Polen. Rutinemessig hungersnød forsvant nesten i potetlandet, et 2000 kilometer langt band som strakte seg fra Irland i vest til Russland og Uralfjellene i øst. Endelig kunne kontinentet produsere sin egen middag.

Det ble sagt at Chincha -øyene avgav en stank så intens at de var vanskelige å nærme seg. Chinchas er en clutch av tre tørre, granittiske øyer 21 miles utenfor sørkysten av Peru. Nesten ingenting vokser på dem. Deres eneste skille er en bestand av sjøfugl, spesielt den peruanske boobyen, den peruanske pelikanen og den peruanske skarven. Fuglene har tiltrukket seg av de store fiskeskolene langs kysten, og har hekket på Chincha -øyene i årtusener. Over tid dekket de øyene med et lag guano opp til 150 fot tykt.

Guano, de tørkede restene av fugler og halvfast urin, er en utmerket gjødselmekanisme for å gi planter nitrogen, som de trenger for å lage klorofyll, det grønne molekylet som absorberer solens energi for fotosyntese. Selv om det meste av atmosfæren består av nitrogen, er gassen laget av to nitrogenatomer bundet så tett til hverandre at planter ikke kan dele dem fra hverandre for bruk. Som et resultat søker planter brukbare nitrogenholdige forbindelser som ammoniakk og nitrater fra jorda. Akk, jordbakterier fordøyer stadig disse stoffene, så de er alltid i mindre forsyning enn bønder skulle ønske.

I 1840 publiserte organisk kjemiker Justus von Liebig en banebrytende avhandling som forklarte hvordan planter er avhengige av nitrogen. Underveis priste han guano som en utmerket kilde til det. Sofistikerte bønder, mange av dem store grunneiere, kjørte for å kjøpe tingene. Utbyttet deres doblet, til og med tredoblet. Fruktbarhet i en pose! Velstand som kan kjøpes i butikk!

Guano mani tok tak. På 40 år eksporterte Peru rundt 13 millioner tonn av det, de aller fleste gravde under fryktelige arbeidsforhold av slaver fra Kina. Journalister avviste utnyttelsen, men offentlig raseri i stedet var i stor grad fokusert på Guano -monopol i Peru. Britene Farmer ’s Magazine la opp problemet i 1854: “Vi får ikke noe lignende mengden vi krever, vi vil ha mye mer, men samtidig vil vi ha det til en lavere pris. ” Hvis Peru insisterte på å få mye penger for et verdifullt produkt, var den eneste løsningen invasjon. Grip guano -øyene! På grunn av offentlig raseri vedtok den amerikanske kongressen Guano Islands Act i 1856, og ga amerikanerne fullmakt til å beslaglegge guano -forekomster de oppdaget. I løpet av det neste halve århundret hevdet amerikanske kjøpmenn 94 øyer, huler, korallhoder og atoller.

Fra dagens perspektiv er opprørelsen og truslene mot rettslige skritt, krigshvisker, lederartikler om Guano -spørsmålet vanskelig å forstå. Men jordbruket var da den sentrale økonomiske aktiviteten til hver nasjon, som miljøhistorikeren Shawn William Miller har påpekt. En fruktbarhet i en nasjon, som ble satt av jordens naturlige grenser, formet uunngåelig nasjonal økonomisk suksess. På bare noen få år hadde jordbruket i Europa og USA blitt like avhengig av gjødsel med høy intensitet. som transport er i dag på petroleum —a avhengighet det har ikke rystet siden.

Guano satte malen for moderne jordbruk. Helt siden von Liebig har bønder behandlet landet som et medium der de tømmer poser med kjemiske næringsstoffer som kommer inn langt unna, slik at de kan høste store mengder for forsendelse til fjerne markeder. For å maksimere avlingene, planter bønder stadig større felt med en enkelt avling og industriell monokultur, som det kalles.

Før potet (og mais), før intensiv befruktning, var europeisk levestandard omtrent lik den i Kamerun og Bangladesh i dag. I gjennomsnitt spiste europeiske bønder mindre per dag enn jakt- og samlingssamfunn i Afrika eller Amazonas. Industrial monoculture allowed billions of people—in Europe first, and then in much of the rest of the world—to escape poverty. The revolution begun by potatoes, corn and guano has allowed living standards to double or triple worldwide even as human numbers climbed from fewer than one billion in 1700 to some seven billion today.

Navnet Phytophthora infestans means, more or less, “vexing plant destroyer.” P. infestans is an oomycete, one of 700 or so species sometimes known as water molds. It sends out tiny bags of 6 to 12 spores that are carried on the wind, usually for no more than 20 feet, occasionally for half a mile or more. When the bag lands on a susceptible plant, it breaks open, releasing what are technically known as zoospores. If the day is warm and wet enough, the zoospores germinate, sending threadlike filaments into the leaf. The first obvious symptoms—purple-black or purple-brown spots on the leaves—are visible in about five days. By then it is often too late for the plant to survive.

P. infestans preys on species in the nightshade family, especially potatoes and tomatoes. Scientists believe that it originated in Peru. Large-scale traffic between Peru and northern Europe began with the guano rush. Proof will never be found, but it is widely believed that the guano ships carried P. infestans. Probably taken to Antwerp, P. infestans first broke out in early summer 1845, in the West Flanders town of Kortrijk, six miles from the French border.

The blight hopscotched to Paris by that August. Weeks later, it was destroying potatoes in the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and England. Governments panicked. It was reported in Ireland on September 13, 1845. Cormac O Grada, an economist and blight historian at University College, Dublin, has estimated that Irish farmers planted about 2.1 million acres of potatoes that year. In two months P. infestans wiped out the equivalent of one-half to three-quarters of a million acres. The next year was worse, as was the year after that. The attack did not wind down until 1852. A million or more Irish people died—one of the deadliest famines in history, in the percentage of population lost. A similar famine in the United States today would kill almost 40 million people.

Within a decade, two million more had fled Ireland, almost three-quarters of them to the United States. Many more would follow. As late as the 1960s, Ireland’s population was half what it had been in 1840. Today the nation has the melancholy distinction of being the only country in Europe, and perhaps the world, to have fewer people within the same boundaries than it did more than 150 years ago.

Despite its ghastly outcome, P. infestans may be less important in the long run than another imported species: Leptinotarsa decemlineata, the Colorado potato beetle. Its name notwithstanding, this orange-and-black creature is not from Colorado. Nor did it have much interest in potatoes in its original habitat, in south-central Mexico its diet centered on buffalo bur, a weedy, spiny, knee-high potato relative. Biologists believe that buffalo bur was confined to Mexico until Spaniards, agents of the Columbian Exchange, carried horses and cows to the Americas. Quickly realizing the usefulness of these animals, Indians stole as many as they could, sending them north for their families to ride and eat. Buffalo bur apparently came along, tangled in horse manes, cow tails and native saddlebags. The beetle followed. In the early 1860s it encountered the cultivated potato around the Missouri River and liked what it tasted.

For millennia the potato beetle had made do with the buffalo bur scattered through the Mexican hills. By comparison, an Iowa farm, its fields solid with potatoes, was an ocean of breakfast. Because growers planted just a few varieties of a single species, pests like the beetle and the blight had a narrower range of natural defenses to overcome. If they could adapt to potatoes in one place, they could jump from one identical food pool to the next—a task made easier than ever thanks to inventions like railroads, steamships and refrigeration. Beetles spread in such numbers that by the time they reached the Atlantic Coast, their glittering orange bodies carpeted beaches and made railway tracks so slippery as to be impassable.

Desperate farmers tried everything they could to rid themselves of the invaders. Eventually one man apparently threw some leftover green paint on his infested plants. It worked. The emerald pigment in the paint was Paris green, made largely from arsenic and copper. Developed in the late 18th century, it was common in paints, fabrics and wallpaper. Farmers diluted it with flour and dusted it on their potatoes or mixed it with water and sprayed.

To potato farmers, Paris green was a godsend. To chemists, it was something that could be tinkered with. If arsenic killed potato beetles, why not try it on other pests? If Paris green worked, why not try other chemicals for other agricultural problems? In the mid-1880s a French researcher discovered that spraying a solution of copper sulfate and lime would kill P. infestans. Spraying potatoes with Paris green, then copper sulfate would take care of both the beetle and the blight. The modern pesticide industry had begun.

As early as 1912 beetles began showing signs of immunity to Paris green. Farmers didn’t notice, though, because the pesticide industry kept coming up with new arsenic compounds that kept killing potato beetles. By the 1940s growers on Long Island found they had to use ever-greater quantities of the newest variant, calcium arsenate. After World War II an entirely new type of pesticide came into wide use: DDT. Farmers bought DDT and exulted as insects vanished from their fields. The celebration lasted about seven years. The beetle adapted. Potato growers demanded new chemicals. The industry provided dieldrin. It lasted about three years. By the mid-1980s, a new pesticide in the eastern United States was good for about a single planting.

In what critics call the “toxic treadmill,” potato farmers now treat their crops a dozen or more times a season with an ever-changing cavalcade of deadly substances. Nonetheless, the pests keep coming back. Researchers were dismayed in the 1980s to discover that new types of P. infestans had found their way to Europe and America. They were more virulent—and more resistant to metalaxyl, the chief current anti-blight treatment. No good substitute has yet appeared.

In 2009, potato blight wiped out most of the tomatoes and potatoes on the East Coast of the United States. Driven by an unusually wet summer, it turned gardens into slime. It destroyed the few tomatoes in my New England garden that hadn’t been drowned by rain. Accurately or not, one of my farming neighbors blamed the attack on the Columbian Exchange. More specifically, he said blight had arrived on tomato seedlings sold in big-box stores. “Those tomatoes,” he said direly, “come from China.”

Adapted with permission from 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created, by Charles C. Mann. Copyright © 2011 Charles C. Mann.

Charles C. Mann has written five previous books, including 1491, plus articles for Vitenskap, Wired and other magazines.


Rise of the Automobile

U.S. history textbooks typically relate early automobile use from the perspective of three distinct narratives. One focuses on Henry Ford, the inventor of the Model T and founder of Ford Motor Company. Ford was a hands-on mechanic who enjoyed tinkering with automobiles. He formed his own firm in 1903 to create a reliable, low-cost, easy-to-operate and easier-to-fix device for the masses. While ultimately successful, it took Ford five years and several failed product lines to produce the Model T. Affectionately called the "Tin Lizzie" or "flivver" (so-called because its bouncy ride was supposedly good "for the liver"), the car remained in production for over 20 years. The second story locates the car within the economic transformation of the 1920s. Ford's mass production techniques increased worker productivity and throughput. This allowed Ford to make more cars and sell them for less money. But these methods remained hard on laborers, many of whom were required to perform routine repetitive tasks for hours on end (made famous by Charlie Chaplin in Moderne tider). In order to retain trained workers, Ford paid higher hourly wages and lowered the work shift from 12 to eight hours per day.

The combination of a good product, productive assembly methods, and consumer desire produced amazing economic results. Ford sold more than 15 million cars by 1927, more than all other brands combined. The demand for products used to build and operate automobiles, such as steel, rubber, oil, gasoline, and glass multiplied as well. In this way, Ford Motor Company serves as the perfect symbol of the modern integrated industrial economy. Third, the automobile reflected a new cultural outlook in America. Behavior beyond the workplace soon took precedence in the minds of many who preferred to "work to live" rather than "live to work." The new technology allowed for more flexible and individual mobility. People moved to the suburbs, took extended vacations, used the car to free themselves from the bounds of the home, and generally consumed their free time in ways never before imagined. These activities—like the heightened demand for steel and glass—multiplied across the American economy to produce travel-related services such as roadside restaurants, service stations, and motels. The car also obliterated the need for some existing industries, particularly fixed-rail commuter service and animal-powered transit.

Some textbooks address the implications of these changes. As a powerful symbol of modernity, the automobile represented individual freedom, mobility, and independence. The car also linked the profound economic changes (especially the rise of big business) to the pursuit of personal happiness through consumption. Increasingly, Americans defined a happy life by one that offered personal and immediate gratification, even if this meant rising debt and a loss of local community. Those unable to meet the economic threshold required to sustain the "goods life" soon found themselves excluded from consideration. The social costs of individual automobile use remained hidden. Tax dollars once applied to public mass transit shifted to user fees (gas taxes) that paid for road improvements or liability insurance. Rising incidents of automotive crime, auto accidents, and sexual promiscuity earned the condemnation of isolated agencies (and the sorrow of their victims), but did little to stem the rising tide of change.

While textbooks do a fine job framing these three issues, they too often neglect several other key considerations. For example, the gasoline-powered internal combustion engine remained only one option (see Primary Source Internal Combustion Engine [1909]). Steam and electric cars were both functional and productive options in 1910. They were discarded because of the relative low cost and availability of gasoline. Ford's business model, too, significantly changed the relationship workers developed with their employers and their careers. Perfectly suited to the new consumer ethos of America, increasingly workers defined their lives through the goods they consumed rather than the jobs they held. Finally, automobiles profoundly influenced youth culture and women's lives. Freed from the constraints of the home, young people found their leisure beyond the watchful eyes of their parents and other relations. While we today, a product of these changes, may look favorably upon these individualistic freedoms, others might reasonably counter that community standards and a sense of belonging were lost as Americans hit the gas pedal.

Historians today generally examine the car within the boundaries of these material and cultural changes. The automobile proved to be a harbinger of modern, liberating technologies that provided individuals extensive new freedoms, but with a price tag. Like complex cell phones and high-speed internet today, consumer technologies such as the automobile freed those able to afford the gas, hotel bills, ticket prices, and especially the time needed for leisure. The social, economic, and, increasingly obvious today, environmental costs of these individual liberties rarely entered the public debate. One exception proved the rising toll of auto-related fatalities, especially those produced by intoxicated or otherwise reckless drivers. While the market responded to poor driving through rising liability insurance premiums, by the mid-20th century most states instituted formal licensing procedures. States also began to require minimal safety standards for all cars and criminal codes for habitually reckless drivers.

While most textbooks are limited by space and state standards, they too frequently ignore the costs associated with the type of economic and cultural change brought by the automobile. Mass production lowered consumer costs, to be sure, but just as certainly they made it increasingly difficult for new innovators (the next Henry Ford) to enter the market. Widespread auto use also enjoyed state support—in the form of road improvements, the interstate highway system, and a lack of regulation—that the railroads and light-rail did not share. Finally, textbooks too often minimize the ways that modern consumerism saddled Americans with a culture of debt and rising material expectations that promised individual "satisfaction" while delivering an unquenchable desire for something new. These remain complex and intriguing aspects of America's car culture.


Coffee History / 1850-1900

1859 - A new coffee brewing machine called the Raparlier vacuum coffee pot is developed and includes an upper glass bowl that shows how much coffee has been brewed. A hemp filter placed between the compartments is inexpensive and disposed of between uses.

1860 - Cafe Central opens in Vienna and becomes a gathering place for the country's intellectual elite including Adolf Loos, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, and Anton Kuh.

Until 1938 it was often called the Chess School since so many people played the game there including Russian revolutionary Leo Trotzky. Today the cafe remains popular, having been refurbished in 1986.

1861 - Isabella Beeton writes, “It is true, says Liebeg, that thousands have lived without a knowledge of tea and coffee and daily experience teaches us that, under certain circumstances, they may be dispensed with without disadvantage to the merely animal functions, but it is an error, certainly, to conclude from this that they may be altogether dispensed with in reference to their effects.”

Beeton adds that, “It is a question whether, if we had no tea and no coffee, the popular instinct would not seek for and discover the means of replacing them.”

1863 - Cafe Slavia opens in Prague, and today it remains a landmark and popular restaurant and cafe. Cafe Slavia is located opposite the National Theatre and frequented by the capital city's acting community.

In the past it was the often visited by such renown writers as Rainier Maria Wilke, Jaroslav Seifert (1984 Nobel Prize winner), and Franz Kafka. Dvorak and Smetana are among the renown composers who have frequented Cafe Slavia.

1864 - The Burns coffee roaster is patented by New York's Jabez Burns and is the first machine that doesn't need to be moved away from the fire to discharge the beans after roasting. This was the beginning of modern roasting machines and Burns is considered the grandfather of roasting.

1865 - James H. Mason patents the coffee percolator in the United States.

1869 - A coffee plant disease known as coffee leaf rust first shows up on the coffee plants in Ceylon and proceeds to ruin most India coffee plantions and does widespread damage in Asia over the next decade.

1869 - I The Innocents Abroad, Mark Twain writes that “Of all the unchristian beverages that ever passed my lips, Turkish coffee is the worst. The cup is small, it is smeared with grounds the coffee is black, thick, unsavory of smell, and execrable in taste.”

The story goes on to say, “The bottom of the cup has a muddy sediment in it half an inch deep. This goes down your throat, and portions of it lodge by the way, and produce a tickling aggravation that keeps you barking and coughing for an hour.”

1871 - Innovator John Arbuckle and his assistants invent a machine to fill, weigh, seal, and label paper packages of coffee. Arbuckle markets his Arbuckle Ariosa coffee from his New York factory, and the coffee is the first mass produced coffee product to be sold country wide.

Arbuckle would become the world's largest coffee importer as well as America's largest shipper, owning every South American merchant ship.

1872 - Selling bulk-roasted coffee to grocery stores in drums and sacks, James Folger founds J.A. Folger Coffee & Company after buying out his partners in Pioneer Steam Coffee and Spice Mills Company.

After James passes away in 1889 the company is run by his son James A. Folger II and continues to grow rapidly. (See 1963.)

1879 - I The Moral Instructor, Jesse Torrey writes, “Coffee, though a useful medicine, if drunk constantly will at length induce a decay of health, and hectic fever.”

1880s - The first caffeinated soft drinks are created.

1880 - Australia's first coffee plantation is developed, encompassing five hundred acres between Cooktown and New South Wales.

1880s - Ethiopia's Kingdom of Kaffa where the coffee plant originated produces about 55,000 kilograms of coffee beans.

1880s - The coffee industry in Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii suffers a severe setback due to the Reciprocity Treaty that took effect in 1876. Almost no coffee is exported.

1880-1886 - Coffee consumption spreads widely in Ethiopia in part due to Emperor Menilek appreciating the beverage and also to Abuna Matewos, the head of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, who helped convince the clergy that it was not a Muslim drink.

1880 - Mark Twain writes in A Tramp Abroad, “After a few months' acquaintance with European ‘coffee' one's mind weakens, and his faith with it, and he begins to wonder if the rich beverage of home, with it's clotted layer of yellow cream on top of it, is not a mere dream after all, and a thing which never existed.”

1881 - I The Appledore Cookbook, Maria Parloa writes, “Persons drinking coffee, as a general rule, east less, though coffee, and also tea, have little direct food value but they retard the waste of the tissues, and so take the place of food.”

1882 - The New York Coffee Exchange is established.

1883 - The Buckeye Cookbook states that, “Physicians say that coffee without cream is more wholesome, particularly for persons of weak digestion. There seems to be some element in the coffee which combined with the milk, forms a leathery coating on the stomach, and impairs digestion.”

1885 - The coffee roasting method of using natural gas to produce hot air becomes common.

1887 - Coffee first arrives in Tonkin, Indo-China.

1886 - Joel Cheek, a former grocer, names the coffee blend called “Maxwell House” after the Nashville, Tennessee hotel where it the popular blend.

1890 - World coffee prices rise steeply. In the Kona region on the Big Island of Hawaii this leads to significant new investments in the coffee industry by European and American investors.

1890 - Cafe de Flore opens in Paris in the Saint-Germain-des-Pres district. The coffee house becomes a renowned meeting place of intellectuals, artists, and filmmakers of the day including Giacometti, Picasso, Apollinaire, and Hemingway, and this is where Simone de Beauvoir discussed the philosophy of existentialism with Jean-Paul Sartre. The cafe is still open today.

1890s - The French Press coffee maker, then known as the plunger filter, is invented. A filter compartment is lowered into the hot water and then pulled up when the coffee has been properly brewed and before it can become too bitter. Some accounts say the French Press was not invented until the Italian Calimani developed it in 1933.

1891 - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., a physician and writer, opines in Over the Teacups that, “The morning cup of coffee has an exhilaration about it which the cheering influence of the afternoon or evening cup of tea cannot be expected to reproduce.”

1893 - Coffee plants from Brazil are brought to Tanzania (Tanganyika) and Kenya where they are cultivated. This marked the end of the coffee plant's journey around the globe with a new varietal now being planted near its Ethiopian origins.

1894 - Budapest's first coffee house opens and is called Cafe New York - by the turn of the century there would be more than 500 coffee houses in Budapest. Though it was destroyed in World War II, Cafe New York reopened in 2006 with a wonderful effort to restore its former glory including frescos on the ceiling, ball lamps, and a gallery.

1896 - Coffee takes hold in Queensland, Australia.

1899 - There is an oversupply in the world coffee market causing coffee prices to plummet. Within one year, in the Kona Coffee growing region of the Big Island of Hawaii all of the large plantations fail and the coffee industry nearly disappears.

The plantations are split up into small parcels of around ten acres and leased to coffee farmers, many of whom are Japanese immigrants (about four out of five Kona coffee farmers) who had initially come to the Islands to work on sugarcane plantations.

This begins a new era of small farms in the Kona coffee industry. A typical lease required the farmers to give pay about $30 per hear plus part of the coffee crop. Some leases required the farmers to pay with half of their crop.


The World’s Top Drink

We came to Brazil to find coffee and learn about the future of one of the world’s top commodities, especially in the midst of a changing climate and rising population. A legacy farmer in Santos, the small port city that exports more than three-quarters of Brazil’s coffee, called it humanity’s favorite drink.

But is it? We did some digging. The world’s most consumed beverage—not counting water, which has no equal—is actually a dark horse, the kind you don’t suspect. It’s not coffee, as Brazilian kids learn at early age, nor Coca Cola, as I grew up hearing in America. It’s surprisingly not even beer.

Disclaimer: I’m a tea guy, unapologetically. It’s nothing against coffee, other than that I get jittery and still can’t stand the taste without making a face. When data from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization suggests that the world drinks about six billion cups of tea a day, four of them are mine.

Tea beats coffee in a lot of ways. It predates coffee by about 3,000 years, and is thought to have first been harvested in 2700 B.C. by the emperor Shen Nung who was known as “the divine healer.” Coffee didn’t come until the tenth century at the earliest, first discovered in what is now Yemen. These days most coffee is produced in Brazil and Central America it wasn’t brought to the western hemisphere until around 1720, first in the Caribbean and then eventually south into Colombia, Ecuador and Brazil. The bean wouldn’t grow in the more volatile climate of North America (except in Hawaii), so South America dominated.

Tea, meanwhile, came far earlier likely because (one imagines) it’s simpler to stumble on dried leaves brewed with warm water. Accoutrements like milk, honey, and sugar came later. Although tea’s greatest asset is the thing I love most: its overarching simplicity.

So why is tea more popular? It’s hard to nail down people’s tastes, but it’s probably a combination of shipping weight and culture. Americans—who drink the most coffee—can find a Starbucks every few blocks, but tea is the national drink of China and India, each of which have more than a billion people. It’s generally cheaper to buy, and packed with more antioxidants. Whether tea is healthier than coffee is a complicated question. I just report, you decide.

Tea aside, we’ll be learning lots about coffee over the next few weeks and reporting it here. While in Brazil, I’m also taking a tea hiatus, because when in Rome… (Spencer has agreed to catch me when I crash). We’d love to hear your thoughts about coffee, tea, or your favorite beverage. Tell us your stories about how drinks play into your culture, or how Diet Coke once saved your life. Leave word in the comments below.


In WWI Trenches, Instant Coffee Gave Troops A Much-Needed Boost

American servicemen enjoy a hot cup of coffee at a Salvation Army hut in New York, circa 1918. During World War I, instant coffee was a key provision for soldiers on the front. They called it a "cup of George." FPG/Hulton Archive/Getty Images skjul bildetekst

American servicemen enjoy a hot cup of coffee at a Salvation Army hut in New York, circa 1918. During World War I, instant coffee was a key provision for soldiers on the front. They called it a "cup of George."

FPG/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

On April 6, 1917, the U.S. declared war on Germany and formally entered World War I. By late June, American infantry troops began arriving in Europe. One thing they couldn't do without? Coffee.

"Coffee was as important as beef and bread," a high-ranking Army official concluded after the war. A postwar review of the military's coffee supply concurred, stating that it "restored courage and strength" and "kept up the morale."

In fact, U.S. troops had long looked toward coffee as a small source of salvation amid the hell of war. During the Civil War, Union soldiers received around 36 pounds of coffee a year, according to Jon Grinspan, a curator at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

"Some Union soldiers got rifles with a mechanical grinder with a hand crank built into the buttstock," he told NPR. "They'd fill a hollowed space within the carbine's stock with coffee beans, grind it up, dump it out and cook coffee that way."

Saltet

If War Is Hell, Then Coffee Has Offered U.S. Soldiers Some Salvation

In World War I, the U.S. War Department took things further, establishing local roasting and grinding plants in France to ensure fresh coffee for the troops. (Even if it was brewed in the worst possible of manners, with the grounds left in the pots for a number of successive meals.)

The military also began offering coffee of a different type: instant.

In 1901, a Japanese chemist working in Chicago named Satori Kato developed a successful way to make a soluble coffee powder, or dried coffee extract. At that year's Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, N.Y., the Kato Coffee Co. served hot samples in the Manufacturers Building, giving the brew its public debut. Two years later Sato received a patent for "Coffee concentrate and process of making same."

A pre-World War I advertisement in 1914 introduced George Washington's Coffee to the public. New York Times skjul bildetekst

A pre-World War I advertisement in 1914 introduced George Washington's Coffee to the public.

But it was another immigrant in America, an Anglo-Belgian inventor named George Washington, who first successfully mass-produced instant coffee. (Washington's presidential namesake was not only a coffee drinker but perhaps even an importer.) Established in 1910, the G. Washington Coffee Refining Co., with production facilities in Brooklyn, N.Y., initially sold as "Red E Coffee."

While the name suggested convenience, marketing soon highlighted other benefits of the "perfectly digestible coffee." "Now you can drink all the COFFEE you wish!" an early 1914 ad in the New York Times promised. "No more do you have to risk indigestion when you drink coffee," thanks to a "wonderful process that removes the disturbing acids and oils (always present in ordinary coffee)."

Competing products were hitting the market when demand for soluble coffee skyrocketed with the American entry into the Great War in 1917. The U.S. military snapped up all the instant coffee it could. By October 1918, just before the war's end, Uncle Sam was trying to get 37,000 pounds a day of the powder — far above the entire national daily output of 6,000 pounds, according to Mark Pendergrast's coffee history, Uncommon Grounds.

"After trying to put it up in sticks, tablets, capsules and other forms," noted William Ukers in his authoritative All About Coffee, "it was determined that the best method was to pack it in envelopes." Each held a quarter ounce.

Soluble coffee was notably used on the front lines. Soldiers stirred it into hot water, gulped from tin mugs, and called it "a cup of George," after the company's founder — whose name was apparently familiar to at least some of them. In a letter from the front that Pendergrast quotes, a soldier wrote: "There is one gentlemen I am going to look up first after I get through helping whip the Kaiser, and that is George Washington, of Brooklyn, the soldiers' friend."

The U.S. War Department's E.F. Holbrook, head of the coffee branch of the Subsistence Department, considered instant coffee instrumental in the face of chemical weapons : "The use of mustard gas by the Germans made it one of the most important articles of subsistence used by the army," he explained to the Tea and Coffee Trade Journal in 1919. The "extensive use of mustard gas made it impossible to brew coffee by the ordinary methods in the rolling kitchens," he said.

Equally important was coffee's effect on morale in the trenches. It was hot, familiar and offered a hint of home's comforts. And it had caffeine, which helped energize the troops.

For java addicts like Mexican-American doughboy José de la Luz Sáenz, who served with the 360th Infantry Expeditionary Forces in France and Occupied Germany, that jolt also kept at bay "the headaches caused by the lack of coffee in the morning," he wrote in his journal on Sept. 26, 1918, after a sleepless night and gas attack on the Western Front.

Rather than using his "condiment can" to carry food, he filled one of its compartments with sugar and the other with instant coffee. Managing to get a small alcohol stove to heat water, he prepared cups in the trenches. "The hot coffee with our reliable 'hardtack' biscuits hit the spot and revived exhausted, hungry, and drowsy soldiers," noted Sáenz, a teacher (and future civil rights activist) from South Texas.

Sometimes Sáenz and his fellow soldiers had to do without heat — or even water — for their coffee. "On occasions when the morning finds us on our feet, I am glad to be able to chew on a spoonful of coffee with a bit of sugar."

After the first world war ended, Washington's company relaunched "prepared coffee" for the household. "Went to war! Home again," read an advertisement with a saluting coffee can. The focus this time was on convenience: "Fresh coffee whenever you want it — as strong as you want it."

After World War I, the coffee was reintroduced to the public with the slogan "Went to War! Home Again." Advertisement from the New York Tribune, June 22, 1919. New York Tribune/Library of Congress skjul bildetekst

While Washington's company continued to sell coffee, its Swiss competitor, Nestlé, managed to develop a better technique for producing instant coffee. In 1938 it launched Nescafé, which soon dominated the global instant coffee market.

In 1943, just before his death, Washington sold the company. (In 1961, the George Washington coffee brand was discontinued.) By then, World War II was raging, and American GIs were calling their coffee by a different name: Joe.

GIs enjoy a cup of coffee during World War II. "The American soldier became so closely identified with his coffee that G.I. Joe gave his name to the brew," according to coffee historian Mark Pendergrast. Bettmann Archives/Getty Images skjul bildetekst

GIs enjoy a cup of coffee during World War II. "The American soldier became so closely identified with his coffee that G.I. Joe gave his name to the brew," according to coffee historian Mark Pendergrast.

Bettmann Archives/Getty Images

One legend behind the origins of the new moniker is that it referred to Josephus Daniels, secretary of the Navy from 1913 to 1921 under Woodrow Wilson, who banned alcohol onboard ships, making coffee the strongest drink in the mess. Snopes, though, fact-checked that claim and called it false.

Yet "Joe" very likely does originate in the military. "The American soldier became so closely identified with his coffee that G.I. Joe gave his name to the brew," according to Pendergrast.

"Nobody can soldier without coffee," a Union cavalryman wrote in his diary at the end of the Civil War. Many servicemen and women who have fought since then would agree. Even when the coffee was instant and called George.

Jeff Koehler's Darjeeling won the 2016 IACP Award for literary food writing. Where the Wild Coffee Grows will be published in autumn. Follow him on Twitter og Instagram.


Invention of the Lobotomy

Moniz and Freemen are usually credited with inventing the lobotomy in the 1930s, though in truth their work was based on many other people's research going back to the mid-19th century. They had read about the work of a European doctor named Gottlieb Burckhardt, who in the 1880s performed some of the first psychosurgeries on patients' frontal lobes, as well as other parts of their brains.

Though Burckhardt was derided by his colleagues, some of whom thought his work was barbarous, Moniz and Freeman were intrigued by the idea that the frontal lobe could be somehow separated from the rest of the brain. This would leave incurably schizophrenic patients relieved of their emotional distress, they believed. In experiments with dogs, they determined that cutting nerves between the brain and its frontal lobe -- the so-called "seat of reason" -- left the animals quiet.

And so Moniz, later joined by Freeman, began experimenting on patients. Their first surgery, on a mentally ill woman, involved drilling two holes in her skull and pumping alcohol into her frontal cortex. Later surgeries involved "coring" several regions in the frontal cortex with hollow needles -- literally sucking out parts of the brain to sever neural connections. All these surgeries were done blind, which is to say they rarely opened up a person's skull to see where they were cutting. Moniz and Freeman just drilled into skull and guesstimated where they should core or cut.

they published articles about their work in prestigious scientific journals, reporting that patients who had been horrific burdens on their families, violent or suicidal, were calmed down immeasurably by the surgery.

In a 1942 presentation at the New York Academy of Medicine, the scientists reported that after lobotomy, patients did sometimes become "indolent" or "outspoken." They were like "children," and loving families could simply dismiss their lack of social graces because now they were so much happier.

Moniz, in a 1937 article on the procedure, describes curing a woman from Lisbon whose husband took her to the Congo, where she was unhappy and became "incapable of running her household." So her husband forced her to go back to Lisbon alone, against her wishes, and she gradually became deeply upset because she was always "expecting horrible events" and believed people were out to kill her.

In retrospect, it seems clear why she might have felt that way, but Moniz reports that after a frontal lobotomy she was cured, "though possibly a little reticent." Though many of Moniz and Freeman's patients became essentially catatonic, while others were unaffected, enough seemed "cured" that the lobotomy became standard practice in mental institutions in the 1940s and early 50s.


US Coffee Statistics

1. I 2019, 64% of Americans aged 18 and over drank coffee every day. (NCA)

2. Americans rank 25. for coffee consumption per capita, with an average consumption of 4.2 kg per person per year. (World Atlas)

3. The USA ranks 11. among the countries with the highest caffeine consumption, with a rate of 200 mg per person per day. (Caffeine Informer)

4. The average U.S. coffee drinker consumes 2.7 cups per day, with the average size of a coffee cup measuring 9 ounces. (The Motley Fool)

5. More than 150 million Americans drink about 400 million cups of coffee per day or more than 140 billion cups per year. (The Motley Fool)

6. Coffee consumption in the U.S. in millions of 60-kg bags (Statista):

11. 9 out of 10 older Americans drink coffee at breakfast. 7 out of 10 young Americans drink coffee at dinner—twice as many as in the older generation. (National Coffee Association)

12. In the National Coffee Association’s 2018 report, 79% of Americans surveyed had enjoyed a cup of coffee at home the day before, while 36% had enjoyed a cup of coffee outside the home the day before (Reuters). Dette betyr at 15% of respondents had drunk a coffee both at home and outside the home the day before the survey and that 64% of respondents drank coffee exclusively at home.

13. Almost 50% of Americans who buy coffee outside the home do so at a drive-through. (National Coffee Association)

14. 60% of American coffee drinkers visited a branded coffee shop chain at least once a month in 2018. (Beverage Daily)

15. The most popular methods of making coffee in the USA (Statista):

16. The use of drip coffee makers has decreased by 24% over the past 5 years, while the use of single-cup brewers has increased by 50% since 2015. (National Coffee Association)

17. The most searched coffee drinks in the USA (WorkWise):

  1. Caramel Macchiato
  2. Flat hvit
  3. Cappuccino
  4. Cold Brew
  5. Latte Macchiato

18. Consumption of espresso-based drinks continues to grow. Here are the most popular espresso-based coffee drinks (as a percentage of people who consumed them last year). (National Coffee Association):

  • Cappuccino (33%)
  • Latte (33%)
  • Cold brew (28%)
  • Espresso (26%)
  • Mocha (23%)
  • Macchiato (18%)
  • Americano (18%)
  • Flat white (8%)

19. 4% of Americans add alternative dairy products to their coffee, while 40% of Americans add milk or sweeteners to their coffee. (National Coffee Association)

20. The number of people adding only milk to coffee has grown by 66% since 2015. (National Coffee Association)

21. Consumption of gourmet/premium coffee increased by 25% between 2015 and 2019. (National Coffee Association)

22. 53% of US coffee lovers prefer to buy coffee that is environmentally friendly or that supports farmers, while 47% of Americans do not pay attention to these matters. (National Coffee Association)

23. Coffee consumption by occupation (Early Bird):

25. Millennial coffee preferences (National Coffee Association Blog):

  • 70% of the coffee consumed by millennials is in the form of gourmet beverages.
  • 32% of millennials consume an espresso-based beverage every day, which is higher than among any other demographic.
  • 14% of millennials drink a non-espresso-based beverage every day.
  • Om 65% of millennials are aware of single-cup brewers, which is significantly lower than among older age groups.

26. People employed in coffee production in the USA (IBISWorld):

28. Average annual spending at coffee shops by profession, per year (Early Bird):

30. Cost of coffee at home vs at coffee shops (Lazy Man and Money):

33. Coffee imports to the USA (Statista):

35. Most popular coffee shops in the USA (World Coffee Portal):

36. Number of coffee shops in the USA per chain: (World Coffee Portal)

  • Starbucks – 14,875 stores
  • Dunkin’ Donuts – 9,570 stores
  • Caribou Coffee – 4,700 stores

37. Average price of coffee in the most popular coffee chains in the USA: (MyFriendsCoffee)

38. 78% of coffee shops in the USA are part of the Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, or Caribou Coffee chains. (World coffee portal)

39. Number of baristas per state (MyFriendsCoffee):

42. The average size of a cup of coffee in the USA (Shutterfly):

Mug TypeMug Size
Espresso2-3 oz
Cappuccino5-6 oz
Classic8-15 oz
Latte11-15 oz
Oversized Mug20-25 oz
Oversized Latte20-25 oz
Travel Tumbler15-20 oz
Travel Mug15-20 oz