They took away smoking, they took away drugs and promiscuous sex, they took away eating red meat and cat calling hot chicks on the street. All I have left is over-priced coffee, and by God I’m going to drink it!

– Brent Sienna

I’ll take a venti, half-sweet, non-fat, caramel macchiato with extra whipped cream. Hold the caramel. In our consumer culture, coffee has become almost unrecognizable from its origin as a little brown bean. There are entire communities and economies relying on coffee production, and there is a rich and–sometimes violent–history behind it as well:

– Coffee is the most commonly used legal stimulant in the world

– Coffee first became popular in Arabia in the 13th century, but it is said to have actually originated in Kaffa, an Ethiopian province, back in the 9th century

– London coffee houses are credited with being the birthplace of the Stock Exchange in the late-17th century

– Some coffee berries are processed only after being eaten–and deposited–by an animal

Starbucks didn’t sell coffee-based drinks until more than 10 years after its inception and at first only sold coffee beans for brewing at home

– In Finland, drinking coffee in the parish hall after church services is so important that it is often referred to as the third sacrament of the Finnish Lutheran Church.

And so much more…