Coffee has always been the fuel behind creative fire. It’s a more healthy addiction than whiskey (we’re looking at you, Hemingway) and ever since the first coffee house opened oh-so-long-ago in Constantinople, coffee houses have been hot spot for artistic minds to meet.
There’s no scientific evidence that proves coffee will turn you from regular joe into giant genius. But we’d like to think it helped these greats become more prolific!
1. Alexander Pope
Coffee could very well be responsible for this English poet’s ability to spin sweet rhymes about sour subjects. Pope’s famous Rape of the Lock was conceived out of coffee house gossip and one line even gives a nod to the brew.
In his words: “Coffee, which makes the politician wise, and see through all things with his half-shut eyes.”
2. Voltaire (Francois-Marie Aouret)
Perhaps Voltaire’s (Fancois-Marie Arouet) alleged 40-cup-a-day habit was behind his witty criticisms, incredible prose, and groundbreaking philosophies. He frequented the Le Procope cafe and turned it into a popular hangout for writers.
In his words: “I’ve been drinking coffee for over 50 years. That it is poison, I am convinced, but its ill effects have yet to have any bearing on my health..” Well said, Voltaire!
3. Benjamin Franklin
Is there anything old Ben Franklin couldn’t do? He was an author, inventor, diplomat, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. We can’t credit coffee for all his accomplishments; however, judging by the quotation below, he was one of the first American coffee snobs.
In his words: “Among the numerous luxuries of the table…coffee may be considered as one of the most valuable. It excites cheerfulness without intoxication; and the pleasing flow of spirits which it occasions…is never followed by sadness, languor or debility.”
4. Johann Sebastian Bach
In the 1700s, coffee mania took hold of Europe. Everyone was doing it: aristocrats, poets, painters, parents. It was the ‘skinny jeans’ of the era. Bach leapt onto the bandwagon and composed a spirited ode to coffee: the Coffee Cantata, based off a work by the poet Picander. It may not be as popular as Ode to Joy, but it’s definitely worthy of the “Coffee Canon.”
In his words: "How sweet coffee tastes! Lovelier than a thousand kisses, sweeter than Muscatel wine!"
Balzac couldn’t put his pen to paper without a percolating mug of java by his side. Who better to describe the brew than he? He claimed coffee gave him a “restless energy” but drank innumerable cups of the good stuff to fuel his writing. Add “cure for writer’s block” to the long list of coffee health benefits.
In his words: This coffee falls into your stomach, and straightway there is a general commotion. Ideas begin to move like the battalions of the Grand Army of the battlefield, and the battle takes place.