“Without my morning coffee, I’m just like a dried-up piece of roast goat.” —Johann Sebastian Bach
If you think coffee makes you smarter, you might not have the scientific chops to prove it without a few cups of Joe. Enjoy a hot cup of “brain juice” while learning about a few famous caffeine aficionados from the past.
Let’s start with…
The coffee drinker’s real name was François-Marie Arouet, but he wrote under the pen name Voltaire. In his day, coffee was considered a luxury and the famous writer reputedly downed up to 50 cups of coffee and chocolate every day. His doctor warned him that the expensive habit threatened his health, but the philosopher lived for 83 productive years.
- Soren Kierkegaard
Kierkegaard also liked to soften coffee’s bitter taste with something sweet. He put up to 30 sugar cubes in each cup. Kierkegaard had 50 coffee cups and often ask the secretary to choose a separate one for each serving. The creative secretary had to provide a philosophical reason for choosing a specific cup.
- Ludwig van Beethoven
The meticulous composer counted out 60 beans every morning for his cup of coffee. Whether this was to attain a specific strength or a fun numbers game remains a mystery.
- Theodore Roosevelt
Teddy Roosevelt was the 26th U.S. president. He consumed a gallon of coffee every day, dumping five to seven lumps of sugar in each serving. His son likened his father’s consumption volume to a bathtub.
- Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood lent her name to a roaster that raised money for the Pelee Island Bird Observatory in Canada. Atwood has coffee for breakfast, typically with steamed milk or cream. As a bonus, she sometimes adds espresso to strengthen the brew.
Serious coffee drinker and humor columnist Dave Barry had this to say about coffee:
“It is inhumane, in my opinion, to force people who have a genuine medical need for coffee to wait in line behind people who apparently view it as some kind of recreational activity. I bet this kind of thing does not happen to heroin addicts. I bet that when serious heroin addicts go to purchase their heroin, they do not tolerate waiting in line while some dilettante in front of them orders a hazelnut smack-a-cino with cinnamon sprinkles.”
How does your daily cup count compare with famous coffee drinkers in history?
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