A Blessed Morning Beverage

After getting up in the morning, nothing beats the smell of a fresh-brewed pot of coffee… The sound of the beverage pouring into your mug… Or how it completes your morning to take that first sip.

But it may surprise you to learn that coffee’s not just a great start to your morning. It’s also a blessed beverage.

How did this happen, you ask?

Well, the story starts somewhere in the middle of the 16th century. In a Europe torn by war between Catholicism and the Muslims, who invaded many times over the years from the Middle East. During this turbulent time, a new beverage was introduced in Europe that came from the very people Europeans had been fighting for over a millennium! That beverage was coffee.

Understandably, perhaps, the Europeans greeted this new drink with no small amount of suspicion. Some Europeans loved the beverage. It tasted good. It stimulated the mind. And it made for a great start to the new day.

But others wouldn’t hear of touching the drink. The infidels brought this beverage, they said. Coffee was not a great, aromatic drink to be enjoyed at the start of the day. Rather, it came from the devil himself. These Europeans labeled coffee the “devil’s drink” and refused to even try it.

Pope Clement to the Rescue

This controversy caused such a disturbance in Europe that it eventually reached Pope Clement VIII. Many of the pope’s advisors urged him to ban the drink. However, Pope Clement wouldn’t ban the beverage till he’d at least tried it himself. So he ordered someone to bring him some coffee.

As the story goes, upon trying the coffee Clement declared that the “devil’s drink is delicious,” adding that they should “cheat the devil” by baptizing the coffee. They immediately proceeded to do just that, and the word was spread to all of Europe that coffee was now “sanctified.”

With no more opposition in the church, coffee quickly became a morning staple in Europe, and eventually the rest of the world. And of course it remains so today.