It often makes Men Paralytick

These snippets come from The Natural History of COFFEE, THEE, CHOCOLATE, TOBACCO. In four several Sections; WITH A TRACT OF Elder and Juniper-Berries (1682).

As for the qualities and nature of Coffee, our own Countryman, Dr Willis, has publish’d a very rational Account. He says that in several Headachs, Dizziness, Lethargies, and Catarrahs, where there is a gros habit of Body, and a cold heavy Constitution, there Coffee may be proper and successful: and in these cases he sent his Patients to the Coffee-House rather than to the Apothecaries Shop. The Dr makes one unlucky observation of this Drink, that it often makes Men Paralytick, and does so slacken their strings, as they become unfit for sports, and exercises of the Bed, and their Wives recreations.

A Persian King, named Sultan Mahoment Caswin, who reigned in Persia, was so accustomed to drinking Coffee that he had an unconceivable aversion to Women, and that the Queen standing one day at her Chamber Window, and perceiving they were about gelding a Horse, ask’d some standers by, why they treated so handom a Creature in that manner; whereupon answere was made her that he was too fiery and mettlesome. The Queen reply’d that trouble  might have been spar’d, since Coffee would have wrought the same effect, the experience being already try’d upon the King her Husband.

Coffee is said to be very good for those that have taken too much Drink, Meat, or Fruit, also against shortness of Breath and Rheum. Arabian Women are observ’d to promote their Monthly courses with Coffee, and to tipple constantly at it all the time they are flowing.

As for the manner of preparing Coffee, the Europeans do peel and take off the outward skin of the Berries, which being so prepar’d, are Bak’d, and Burnt, afterwards grinded to Powder; one Ounce of which they mix commonly with a Pint and a half of hot Water, which has been boyl’d half away, then they are digested together, till they are well united.

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3 Comments

  • February 2, 2010 - 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Ha!
    Nice one.

  • February 2, 2010 - 12:21 pm | Permalink

    The debate clearly continued! Your piece is as hilarious now as it was when I first read it!

  • February 2, 2010 - 12:13 pm | Permalink

    I thought the fine men of the london coffee houses had quashed this rumour back in 1676!: http:/wp.me/pxnIu-gp

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