[Sca-cooks] Questions on coffee
ddfr at daviddfriedman.com
Wed Jan 27 01:55:32 PST 2010
>Being half Swedish/Fin/Saami my blood is more coffee then blood.
>(Help! there is blood in my caffeine system!)
> It is documented that coffee was in Asia Minor by 1000 A.D.
That isn't documentation--it's assertion on a web page that mixes
legend with purported historical facts, and doesn't give its sources
for the latter. The earliest good evidence for the drinking of coffee
in the Middle East is, as Bear says, from the 1400s, which is a bit
late for Varangians.
It is also documented that the Varangian Guards (Viking Shock
Troops) for the Emperor of the Byzantine Empire were also present in
Asia minor. The deal or contract was that the Viking soldier served a
term of 15-18 years as the personal guard to the Emperor. When time
of service was done they were allowed to go home with whatever riches
they had acquired.
> 18 years in country is more enough time to acquire a taste for the
>local beverages (coffee).
Or would have been if there were any evidence that coffee was a
common drink in the area at the time. Since there isn't ... . The
dispute is over when someone in the area first drank coffee. Given
that we have extensive literature from the Islamic world, it's hard
to believe that if it was "the local beverage" it wouldn't have been
>Based on evidence of extensive trade between Birka, Hebdy, Gotland,
>et al. with Asia it is reasonable to assume that coffee would have
>followed the trade routes and traders.
The extensive evidence includes lots of archaeological evidence. Has
there been a single find of coffee beans along that trade route?
There's quite a lot of surviving literature from Scandinavia--does it
include any mention of coffee before c. 1600 when it began spreading
>The Arabian did parch or boil the beans to prevent them from being
>grown outside of Arab control.
You know this how?
> It wasn't until the 1600 when coffee was grown outside of the Asia
>Minor or Africa.
>While it is documented that coffee houses did not become popular
>until the 17th century, there are personal records/journals from the
>Swedish King and his ambassadors to Turkey "having being compelled
>to drink a bitter concoction offered to him. He had looked at the
>black drink with apprehension, he said but learned to drink it
>without burning himself." (pg 125 Swedish Ways~ Lilly Lorenzen)
"Karl X Gustaf returned from Turkey, where he had been sent on some
political mission, he reported having been compelled to drink a
bitter concoction ..."
Karl X Gustav was born in 1622.
> In the same article it also talks about how Dr. Carl von Linne
Born in 1707.
> had prescribed coffee has a "remedy."
>He was the one who also discovered that he could take on an extra
>shift after drinking 3 cups.
>This is my justification for having coffee in a Viking encampment.
>Aelina the Saami
Your justification for having coffee in a Viking encampment is that
it was mentioned by Scandinavians in the 17th and 18th centuries?
Despite the complete lack of evidence that it was drunk in
Scandinavia before the 17th century, the fact that it was viewed as
novely when it came into Europe c. 1600, the fact that there is no
evidence that it was a common drink in the middle east at the time
you posit in order to tell your story about imports by the
Varengians, the fact that there is no literary or archaeological
evidence for its existence in Scandinavia in the viking period?
That isn't a justification. It's an excuse for doing something you
have no reason to believe is period and lots of reason to believe
isn't. Doing such things is perfectly understandable--all of us make
compromises between what is period and what we are willing to do.
Doing it and pretending to other people that it is period, on the
other hand, means spreading historical misinformation on the pretence
of historical information--not something the Society ought to be
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