The history of coffee is much more than the tale of one luxury good—it is a lens through which to consider various strands of world history, from food and foodways to religion and economics and sociocultural dynamics.
A Rich and Tantalizing Brew traces the history of coffee from its cultivation and brewing first as a private pleasure in the highlands of Ethiopia and Yemen through its emergence as a sought-after public commodity served in coffeehouses first in the Muslim world, and then traveling across the Mediterranean to Italy, to other parts of Europe, and finally to India and the Americas. At each of these stops the brew gathered ardent aficionados and vocal critics, all the while reshaping patterns of socialization.
Taking its conversational tone from the chats often held over a steaming cup, A Rich and Tantalizing Brew offers a critical and entertaining look at how this bitter beverage, with a little help from the tastes that traveled with it—chocolate, tea, and sugar—has connected people to each other both within and outside of their typical circles, inspiring a new context for sharing news, conducting business affairs, and even plotting revolution.
About the Author
Jeanette M. Fregulia is associate professor and chair of the Department of History at Carroll College in Helena, Montana.
Table of Contents
Series Editors' Preface ix
Preface: A Personal Journey to Coffee xi
Introduction One Bean, Many Histories 3
Chapter 1 Desert to Sea: Coffee, History, and Place 17
Chapter 2 Sociability, Chemistry and Coffee's Eastern Origins 37
Chapter 3 Coffee Crosses the Mediterranean 57
Chapter 4 Coffee and the World of Commodities 79
Chapter 5 Anxieties about Coffee 103
Chapter 6 Coffee and New Patterns of Socialization 123
Chapter 7 Coffee and Modernity 145
Conclusion Just the Grounds 159