Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Hellish Black Brew - - Devil's Brew ?!?

A little church history.

Ah, wonderful Caffeine! Caffeine promotes what Christian fellowship is supposed to do. It's uplifting; the drink itself is warm and inviting. Just ask those who indulge regularly and find that abstaining from either church or coffee produces anxiety and irritability.

Christianity hasn't always cottoned to coffee. In her aptly titled book, "Coffee," Claudia Rosen explains that 16th-century priests wanted Pope Clement VIII to ban "the devil's drink." They insisted that Satan had forbidden his followers--Muslims--from drinking wine because it was used in Holy Communion. Instead, the devil provided this "hellish black brew."

The elixir made from coffee beans does in fact have a long history in Islamic regions.
--African tribes mixed the crushed beans with animal fat and molded them into balls to eat as a stimulant before battle.
--Arabs made the first hot coffee beverage, in 1000 A.D.
--Dervishes--mystic devotees of Islam's Sufi sect--consumed coffee at all-night ceremonies as fuel for achieving religious ecstasy.
--Arabs also invented the ibrik, or coffee broiler.
--As coffee lost it's strictly religious significance, the first coffee houses appeared in Mecca.

Coffee may have remained a Middle-Eastern exotic had not Pope Clement VIII decided to put it to the taste test before banning it.

"Why, this Satan's drink is so delicious," he declared, "that it would be a pity to let the infidels have exclusive use of it. We shall cheat Satan by baptizing it."

I am enjoying a cup of Jamaican Blue Mountain 'devil's brew' even as I write this! Happy coffee drinking!


Ken said...

I was almost afraid to read this. I was concerned that you had a revelation that we should not be drinking coffee. The sad part is that would be just one more thing I would have to seek forgiveness for on a daily basis. That takes a lot of my time now and did not really want to add to the list.

Jungle Mom said...

Thank goodeness ol' Clemente tasted it!
I read this post as I drank some of my Venezuelan coffee, the best in the world!
May I borrow some of this post for my blog?

Pastor David said...

>Ken- nope, no vice here nor condemnation- drink up!

>Jungle Mom- you are welcome to use it- and some day hope to drink some Venezuelan coffee! Having been a mission director- drank coffee from around the world- but, alas none from Venezuela. :>(

Brooke said...

Is it wrong to thank God for "devils brew"? If so I will just thank God for VERY GOOD coffee!! :)

hunt4christ said...

Brooke, All good things come from Heaven

Pastor David said...

>brooke- thank away- I'll join you.

>hunt4christ- amen!