Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wondering

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Julian Alden Weir (American painter, 1852-1919) The Orchid 1891


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Coffee Tales - Turkish Coffee for the wives

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Modern-day Turkish coffee service

Coffee in Turkey was popular among both men & women.

In 1475, Turkish law allows a woman to divorce her spouse if he does not supply a daily coffee quota.

Leonarhard Rauwolf (1535-1596), German physician, botanist, & the 1st European to mention coffee, who became acquainted with the beverage in Aleppo in 1573, telling how the drink was prepared by the Turks, says:
"In this same water they take a fruit called Bunnu, which in its bigness, shape, and color is almost like unto a bayberry, with two thin shells surrounded, which, as they informed me, are brought from the Indies; but as these in themselves are, and have within them, two yellowish grains in two distinct cells, and besides, being they agree in their virtue, figure, looks, and name with the Bunchum of Avicenna and Bunco, of Rasis ad Almans exactly: therefore I take them to be the same."

Leonarhard Rauwolf. Aigentliche beschreibung der Raisis so er vor diser zeit gegen auffgang inn die morgenlaender volbracht. Lauwingen, 1582–83. Leonhard Rauwolff (also spelled Leonhart Rauwolf) (1535–1596) was a German physician, botanist, & traveler. Mostly he is known for a trip he made through the Levant & Mesopotamia in 1573-75, searching herbal medicines. Shortly after he returned, he published a set of new botanical descriptions with an herbarium. Later he published a general travel narrative of his visit.

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Coffee Tales



Andre Bouys (French artist, 1656-1740). Still Life with Silver and Biscuits

"Ah! How sweet coffee tastes! Lovelier than a thousand kisses, sweeter far than muscatel wine!" from "Coffee Cantata"
Composer Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

Johann Sebastian Bach by Elias Gottlob Haussmann (1695–1774) 1748

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Coffee Tales

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George I Side Handled Silver Coffee Pot London 1714 Jonathan Newton

The Natural History of Coffee, Thee, Chocolate, Tobacco  In four several sections; with a tract of  elder and juniper-berries shewing how useful they may be in our coffee houses... by John Chamberlayne 1666-1723 London Printed for Christopher Wilkinson 1682

"As for the qualities and nature of Coffee, our own Countryman, Dr Willis, has publish'd a very rational Account...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...

"Arabian Women are observ'd to promote their Monthly courses with Coffee, and to tipple constantly at it all the time they are flowing."

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Friday, February 17, 2012

Coffee Tales

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American William Will 1742-1798 Pewter Coffee Pot

In the mid-1600's, coffee was brought to New Amsterdam, a location later called New York by the British. Though coffee houses rapidly began to appear, tea continued to be the favored drink in the New World until 1773, when the colonists revolted against a heavy tax on tea imposed by King George. The revolt, known as the Boston Tea Party, would forever change the American drinking preference to coffee.

William Will was born in Germany, near the Rhine river. His family came to New York City in 1752, when he was 10. His father was a pewterer, as were his brothers. He appeared in Philadelphia, with his brother Philip, in 1763. The pewter maker married there & also served as an overseer of the poor, a sheriff of Philadelphia, an officer in the army, & in the General Assembly of the state. He died there in 1798. A local newspaper reported, "On Saturday morning departed this life after a lingering indisposition, which he bore with Christian fortitude, Col Willim Will, in the 56the year of his age; a native of the city of Nieuwidt in German; and on Monday, his remains were interred in the burial ground of the German reformed congregation attended by the members of the German incorporated society, and a very large number of respectable citizens."

In colonial America during the life of William Will, artisans made pewter articles by either casting the liquid pewter into molds, which were usually made of brass or bronze; by turning on a lathe; or by hammering a flat pieces such as large dishes, trenchers, or chargers into shape. Almost all pewter prior to 1800 was cast in molds. Molds were expensive; & immigrating pewterers, such as William Will's family, usually brought their molds with them from England or Germany.

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Coffee Tales - 1st Coffeehouse in Austria 1683

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The 1st coffeehouse in Austria, opened in Vienna in 1683, using coffee beans left by the quickly retreating Ottoman Turks, after the Battle of Vienna. The officer who received the coffee beans was the hero of the battle, Polish military officer of Ukrainian origin Jerzy Franciszek Kulczycki. He opened the coffee house with the spoils of war & helped popularize the custom of adding sugar & milk to the coffee. Jerzy Franciszek Kulczycki (Ukrainian: Юрій-Франц Кульчицький) (1640–1694) was a  merchant, spy, diplomat & soldier, & hero of the people of Vienna for his actions at the 1683 Battle of Vienna.


Kulczycki opened his coffee house in Vienna at Schlossergassl near the cathedral. It was named the Hof zur Blauen Flasche (House under the Blue Bottle). Kulczycki helped popularize coffee in Austria, & his café became one of the most popular places in town. Kulczycki served the mortar-ground coffee wearing a Turkish attire, which added to the place's popularity.


Early in the 18th century, a traveler wrote of coffee drinking & the coffee-house idea in Vienna, "The city of Vienna is filled with coffee houses, where the novelists or those who busy themselves with the newspapers delight to meet, to read the gazettes and discuss their contents. Some of these houses have a better reputation than others because such zeitungs-doctors (newspaper doctors—an ironical title) gather there to pass most unhesitating judgment on the weightiest events, and to surpass all others in their opinions concerning political matters and considerations."


Vienna liked the coffee house so well that by 1839, there were 80 of them in the city proper & 50 more in the suburbs. Kolschitzky is honored in Vienna as the patron saint of coffee houses. His followers, united in the guild of coffee makers (kaffee-sieder), even erected a statue in his honor. It still stands as part of the facade of a house where the Kolschitzygasse merges into the Favoritengasse. And in 2009, the Polish Post started circulating a stamp that not only has the image of Kulczycki, but also emits a gentle aroma of coffee.


Until recently, this hero was celebrated in most modern-day Viennese coffeehouses by hanging a picture of Kulczycki in the window. Melange is the typical Viennese coffee, which comes mixed with hot foamed milk & a glass of water.


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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Coffee Tales

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Edgar Degas, Breakfast after Bathing or The Cup of Coffee, 1894

"Black coffee must be strong and very hot; if strong coffee does not agree with you, do not drink black coffee. And if you do not drink black coffee, do not drink any coffee at all."
Andre L Simon (French-born London wine merchant, writer & gourmet 1877-1970)

Andre L Simon (1877-1970)

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Coffee Tales

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Camille Pissarro Breakfast Young Peasant Woman Taking Her Coffee 1881

"The morning cup of coffee has an exhilaration about it which the cheering influence of the afternoon or evening cup of tea cannot be expected to reproduce."
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (1809 –1894) was an American physician, poet, professor, lecturer, and author.


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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Coffee Tales

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Jean Baptiste Simeon Chardin (French artist, 1699-1779) Glass of Water and Coffee Pot

"I would rather suffer with coffee than be senseless."
Emperor of France Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821)

Emperor of France Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) Looking a little senseless here, probably hadn't had his coffee.

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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Coffee Tales

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Nicolas Lancret (French artist, 1690-1743) Ladies In A Garden Taking Coffee With Some Children 1742

Suave molecules of Mocha stir up your blood, without causing excess heat; the organ of thought receives from it a feeling of sympathy; work becomes easier and you will sit down without distress to your principal repast which will restore your body and afford you a calm, delicious night.
French statesman Charles Maurice de Talleyrand (1754-1838)

Charles Maurice de Talleyrand (1754-1838) by Jean-Baptiste Greuze (French artist, 1725-1805)

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Coffee Tales

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Turkish Coffee Pot

The word "coffee" appeared in an English travel book in 1598, via Dutch koffie which was a term borrowed from Turkish kahve, in turn borrowed from Arabic قهوة (qahwa), a truncation of qahhwat al-bun "wine of the bean." Some claim that a possible origin of the name is the Kingdom of Kaffa in Ethiopia, where the coffee plant is said to have originated; although, its name there is bunn or bunna.

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Coffee Tales - Japan

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Coffee pot, Edo Period (1615–1868), 1650–75. Japanese Porcelain (Hizen ware, Arita type) The Met tells us that this coffee pot was made specifically for export to Europe. "From the mid-17th to the mid-18th century, when Chinese porcelain production was in decline, the Japanese porcelain industry thrived through trade with the Dutch. Since shapes like coffee pots were unfamiliar to Japanese potters, the Dutch would provide models to be copied. Additions of silver or gold mountings to a porcelain vessel were common in export wares, highlighting the high value placed on porcelain by the wealthy European consumers."

The Dutch brought coffee to Japan in 1609, where it competed with tea but never overtook it. In 1804, the 1st written account of drinking coffee appeared in Japan. By 1826, there was written documentation that word was spreading that coffee helped increase longevity. When free trade began in 1858, coffee was imported. In 1869, the 1st printed advertisement for coffee appeared in the port town of Yokohama. By 1888, the Japanese planted coffee beans that yeilded some crop. But, in 1885, the 1st Japanese immigrants had been brought to Hawaii's Big Island sugar plantations to work on 3-year labor contracts under severe conditions. Many found their way to Kona & were employed as coffee pickers. By 1899, the 1st Japanese mill known as the "Kona Japanese Coffee Mill" was established in Kailua-Kona. At that time, farmers were obligated to deliver their crops to Captain Cook Coffee Company or American factors, making it difficult for the Japanese mill to obtain coffee beans. As an incentive, Japanese mills offered cash payment & slightly higher prices to coffee growers. They would set out at midnight to pick up the coffee crop. And so, today the Japanese prefer some of the world’s rarest & most expensive coffees from Kona, Hawaii.

In Japan, a Mandarin fell in love with a courtesan. “I shall be yours,” she told him, “when you have spent 100 nights waiting for me, sitting on a stool, in my garden beneath my window.” But on the 99th night, the mandarin stood up, put his stool under his arm, and went away.

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Monday, February 6, 2012

Coffee Tales - India 19th-Century

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Sterling Silver Coffee Pot made in Lucknow, India, c 1880

The first record of coffee growing in India follows the introduction of coffee beans from Yemen by Baba Budan to the hills of Chikmagalur in 1670. Coffee drinking became extremely popular there during British rule (1612-1947); of course, I guess it became popular in most places during that particular period of time. Since then, coffee plantations have become established in the region, extending south to Kodagu.

David Burton, a food historian writes in his book The Raj at Table (1993) "India's first coffee house opened in Calcutta after the battle of Plassey in 1780. Soon after, John Jackson and Cottrell Barrett opened the original Madras Coffee House, which was followed in 1792 by the Exchange Coffee Tavern at the Muslim, waited at the mouth of the Madras Fort. The enterprising proprietor of the latter announced he was going to run his coffee house on the same lines as Lloyd's in London, by maintaining a register of the arrival and departure of ships, and offering Indian and European newspapers for his customers to read. Other houses also offered free use of billiard tables, recovering their costs with the high price of one rupee for a single dish of coffee."

Until the middle of the 20th century, private Indian households traditionally would use jaggery or honey to sweeten their coffee.  Sweet coffee appealed to the Indian population.  Today South Indian Coffee also know as Filter Coffee is a sweet milky coffee made from dark roasted coffee beans (70%-80%) and chicory (20%-30%), which is especially popular in the southern states of Karnataka & Tamil Nadu. The most commonly used coffee beans are Arabica & Robusta which are grown locally in the hills of Karnatka, Kerla, and Tamil Nadu.

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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Christ in the House of Mary & Martha

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Christ in the House of Mary, Martha & Lazarus, 1576, Jacopo Bassano (Jacopo da Ponte, Italian High Renaissance Painter, c 1510-1592) & Francesco Bassano (Italian Mannerist Painter, c.1549-1592)

Christ in the House of Martha and Mary, 1570-75, Tintoretto, Jacopo Robusti (Italian, 1518-1594),

Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me." But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her" (Luke 10:38-42).

Christ in the House of Martha and Mary, 1628, Jan Bruegel the Younger (1601-1678) & Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640)

Christ at the House of Martha and Mary of Bethany, Jacob Jordaens (Flemish Baroque Era Painter, 1593-1678)

Christ in the House of Martha and Mary, 1618, Diego Velásquez (Spanish Baroque Era Painter, 1599-1660)

Christ in the House of Martha and Mary, Rembrandt Van Rijn (1606–1669)

Christ in the House of Martha and Mary, Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675), c 1654-1655

Quellinus, Jan Erasmus. (Flemish painter, 1634-1715) Jesus with Martha and Mary


Friday, February 3, 2012

Coffee Tales - France

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French Silver Chocolate Pot with Side Handle Paris c 1800

"Black as the devil, hot as hell, pure as an angel, sweet as love."
That's the recipe for coffee, according to the utterly French statesman Charles Maurice de Talleyrand (1754-1838)

Talleyrand by Jean-Baptiste Greuze
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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Coffee Tales - Abraham Lincoln

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Continental pewter pot, c.1850

If this is coffee, then please-bring me some tea. But if this is tea, please bring me some coffee.
President Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

Abraham Lincoln 1809-1865


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Coffee Tales - Paris in the 1920s

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1920 Shalva Kikodze (Georgian Expressionist painter, 1894–1921) Artists' Coffee House in Paris

He was my cream, and I was his coffee - And when you poured us together, it was something. Dancer & singer Josephine Baker (1906–1975)

Josephine Baker was an American dancer, singer, & actress who found fame in her adopted homeland of France.

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