[Sca-cooks] The Dutch (food cvontent)

Terry Decker t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net
Thu Sep 20 21:42:20 PDT 2007

>>> In 1596 at a coffee and tea merchant's shop in Amsterdam, they
>>> recorded that "the first Dutch man to drink coffee, one Professor
>>> Clusius" tasted the brew...
>> You got the source for the above quote?
> Upon double-checking my source and finding a name of the shop, I went 
> online
> to see if there was a secondary back-up only to find that the claim was a
> commercial fabrication that had made its way into my sourcebook.
> Rats.
> Thanks for doubting, researching, and calling me on it.
> Hrothny

The tale of a coffee and tea merchant in 1596 was obviously bogus, but that 
doesn't mean there isn't an element of truth in the tale.

By googling clusius and coffee, I found an excerpt from Weinberg and Bealer, 
The World of Caffeine (2001) on Google books, which includes the following, 
"In 1596, Charles de l'Ecluse (Lat. Carolus Clusius) (1524-1609), a 
French-Dutch physician and botanist, received from an Italian correspondent 
what were probably the first beans to cross the Alps.3"  The accuracy of 
other statements makes me think this one may be accurate and I would 
certainly like to know what note 3 says.  In his correspondence, Clusius 
described how he received a sample of Irish potato in 1587 and it may be 
that he recorded how he obtained coffee beans.

I'm willing to accept that he could have gotten them from an Italian 
correspondent, because private stocks of coffee beans were being imported 
into Italy from Turkey during the last quarter of the 16th Century.


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