It’s Easter, that time of year where everyone gets a few days off work to celebrate the beginning of spring by eating their body weight in chocolate, and remembering when public execution used to be cool. But here at your favourite coffee merchants, Buongusto, we like to spend our spare time (yes, even national holidays), thinking up ways to make your lives more incred-Arabica-l (we just came up with that word, but it’s okay, you can use it). So we thought, what is Easter really about? Is about about cute fluffy bunnies? Is it about symbolically asserting your dominance over the animal kingdom by eating their delicious, chocolatey young? We weren’t sure either, so we decided to get deep and talk about coffee and religion.
Coffee is a stimulant and, as such, you would think that most religions would be against it. Indeed, many are. For example, Mormonism has a complete blanket ban on alcohol, tea, tobacco, and fun (and coffee). However, religions like Islam have grown up with coffee. It’s easy to forget that Islam is, in world terms at least, quite a young religion. Since Muslims are not allowed to drink alcohol, the humble coffeehouse thrived in Muslim countries instead of taverns. In respect of coffee, Christianity very much followed Islam’s lead.
For Christianity and coffee have a more rocky history. As we mentioned in a previous post, coffee was once called the ‘Devil’s Drink’ due to its association with Islam, and it took intercession by the Pope himself (Clement VIII) to approve it. It sounds odd to us now, but we’re talking about a time when you could be burned at the stake for not liking pork (I mean, how can you not like pork?!). With Papal approval, coffee-mania spread across Europe faster than the news that Zayn Malik had quit One Direction (why, Zayn? Why?!). Indeed, the frothy goodness that is a cappuccino was invented by a Franciscan friar (we think)!
Yet even nowadays, though there are coffee bars in churches and blogs galore about sharing well-brewed Italian coffee beans with the Lord, many are still against the idea. This is mainly down to the idea that addiction is a sin. Now, most of us know that coffee and crystal meth are not exactly on par but we have to admit, coffee is not something we would give up easily. So thank Pope Clement, thank your favourite deity, and thank Joe, the God of coffee, for allowing you to partake of your favourite sin-that-isn’t-really-a-sin (unless you’re drinking it with meat on a Friday, you heathen).
After all, if coffee is a sin, then it was all in vain.
Feeling enlightened? No? Well, why not have a cup of coffee(hyperlink to products page) instead. The feeling is close enough.