Monday, November 26, 2007

Ah, yes ....

... Anne Fadiman on coffee: Bean and gone. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Having observed the frisky goats, the imam of a nearby monastery - a sort of medieval Carlos Castaneda - roasted the berries in a chafing dish, crushed them in a mortar, mixed them with boiling water, and drank the brew. When he lay down, he couldn't sleep. His heartbeat quickened, his limbs felt light, his mood became cheerful and alert. "He was not merely thinking," wrote Jacob. "His thoughts had become concretely visible. He watched them from the right side and from the left, from above and from below. They raced like a team of horses." The imam found that he could juggle a dozen ideas in the time it normally took to consider a single one. His visual acuity increased; in the glow of his oil lamp, the parchment on his table looked unusually lustrous and the robe that hung on a nearby peg seemed to swell with life. He felt strengthened, as Jacob put it, "by heavenly food brought to him by the angels of Paradise."
Somebody should track down the imam's blend. Sounds potent.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11:15 AM

    Ah, I loved this essay. Actually, all the essays in that book are good except for the one on the cultural wars in academe, which I think she doesn't quite twig. (Having once been on the front lines of them, I've a rather different opinion.)

    By the way, teens and twenty-somethings are the greatest coffee drinkers of all time, thanks to Starbucks. My own 18-year-old daughter downs several cups a day -- strong, sweet, over-creamed stuff that makes me gag whenever I have a sip of it. If Starbucks wanted to change the world, they could: They have a captive audience of the Western world's future movers and shakers (thanks to all that caffeine, they're really movin' & shakin').