Devil’s Drink

Coffee aficionados often claim that the spread of its popularity is due to Pope Clement VIII’s influence. Being pressured by his advisers to declare coffee the “bitter invention of Satan” because of its popularity among Muslims and it being a sort of antithesis or substitute for wine (which was used in the Eucharist), upon tasting it he instead declared that, “This devil’s drink is so delicious…we should cheat the devil by baptizing it.” The year often cited is 1600. It is not clear whether this is a true story, but it may have been found amusing at the time.

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