Jun 9, 2016

First Ever Coffee Ad! (1652)

A friend recently shared the alleged first ever coffee ad (from 1652!) with me on Twitter. 

Okay, it was a Sister. Sister Sarah of the Society of St. Margaret. I love nuns who Tweet me about coffee!

I found it fascinating and wanted to see more clearly the full text, which I Googled and present to you. This is a full service blog, after all.

What I love about the ad -- whether or not it is actually the first one -- is the claims about the benefits of coffee. Some remain true: "It will prevent drowsiness and make one fit for business." Agreed! It is also said to "quicken the spirits and makes the heart lightsome." Yes!

But who knew coffee also prevented and/or cured "Dropsy, Gout, and Scurvy?" I didn't.

The only thing I know for sure is that, as Laurie Brock apparently said during her workshop at the recent eFormation Conference, "If we closed all the coffee shops we would never see writing from Father Tim again." Now that is gospel truth.


Text of the First Coffee Ad (1652)


“THE Grain or Berry called Coffee, groweth upon little Trees, only in the Deserts of Arabia.
It is brought from thence, and drunk generally throughout all the Grand Seigniors Dominions.
It is a simple innocent thing, composed into a drink, by being dryed in an Oven, and ground
to Powder, and boiled up with Spring water, and about half a pint of it to be drunk, fasting an hour before and not Eating an hour after, and to be taken as hot as possibly can be endured; the which will never fetch the skin off the mouth, or raise any Blisters, by reason of that Heat.
The Turks drink at meals and other times, is usually Water, and their Dyet consists much of Fruit, the Crudities whereof are very much corrected by this Drink.
The quality of this Drink is cold and Dry; and though it be a Dryer, yet it neither heats, nor inflames more than hot Posset.
It forcloseth the Orifice of the Stomack, and fortifies the heat with- [missing text] its very good to help digestion, and therefore of great use to be [missing text] bout 3 or 4 a Clock afternoon, as well as in the morning.
[missing text] quickens the Spirits, and makes the Heart Lightsome. 
[missing text]is good against sore Eys, and the better if you hold your Head o’er it, and take in the Steem that way.
It supresseth Fumes exceedingly, and therefore good against the Head-ach, and will very much stop any Defluxion of Rheumas, that distil from the Head upon the Stomach, and so prevent and help Consumptions and the Cough of the Lungs.
It is excellent to prevent and cure the Dropsy, Gout, and Scurvy.
It is known by experience to be better then any other Drying Drink for People in years, or Children that have any running humors upon them, as the Kings Evil. &c.
It is very good to prevent Mis-carryings in Child-bearing Women.
It is a most excellent Remedy against the Spleen, Hypocondriack Winds, or the like.
It will prevent Drowsiness, and make one fit for Busines, if one have occasion to Watch, and therefore you are not to drink of it after Supper, unless you intend to be watchful, for it will hinder sleep for 3 or 4 hours.
It is observed that in Turkey, where this is generally drunk, that they are not troubled with the Stone, Gout, Dropsie, or Scurvy, and that their Skins are exceeding cleer and white.
It is neither Laxative nor Restringent.
Made and Sold in St. Michaels Alley in Cornhill, by Pasqua Rosee, at the Signe of his own Head.”

3 comments:

Susan Elliott said...

I trust you've read The Coffee Trader by David Liss and published in 2004. If not, put it on your summer fiction reading list!

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Alan Christensen said...

I've drunk coffee for many years and can attest that I too have never suffered the Stone, Gout, Dropsie, or Scurvy.