I review ten great coffee loving authors

A fun repost for International Coffee Day

If these ten authors were my customers at my coffee house

I can imagine having coffee without writing. I cannot imagine writing without coffee in me or at least nearby. In the evenings, I often sit with a mug nearby with no intention of drinking it. It helps me write just to have it nearby.

I came across this list of quotes by ten coffee loving authors the other evening as I was not drinking my coffee. It struck me that I have lot in common with them, especially the bits about being a coffee lover and a great writer.

To confirm the latter,  I imagined all those below as if I were a barista and they were my regulars. My reviews of them as coffee drinkers, not writers, is below their own quotes on coffee. Hope you like them.

Their quotes and my review

  1.   Honore de Balzac

‘Were it not for coffee one could not write, which is to say one could not live.’ Balzac used to drink 50 cups of coffee a day. He woke at 1 am each day and wrote for seven hours. At 8 am he napped for 90 minutes, then wrote again from 9:30 to 4 pm. He said: ‘As soon as coffee is in your stomach, there is a general commotion. Ideas begin to move…similes arise, the paper is covered. Coffee is your ally and writing ceases to be a struggle.’

As a barista – Always asks for “ just a warm up” in his cup so we can’t charge him for refills.

  1.   Søren Kierkegaard

Kierkegaard had an interesting coffee ritual. He poured sugar into a coffee cup until it was piled up above the rim. Next came the incredibly strong, black coffee, which slowly dissolved the white pyramid. Then he gulped the whole thing down in one go. He wrote: ‘At any rate, I prize coffee.’

As a barista – When I see him in line I always look to see if the sugar dispenser on the condiment stand is full.

  1.   Voltaire.

Voltaire was said to have drunk 30 – 40 cups of coffee (mixed with chocolate) every day. Although he lived to 83, his doctor warned him that his beloved coffee would kill him. He was a regular at the famous cafe Le Procope in Paris and you can still find his desk displayed there. ​

As a barista – He always orders his mocha made with extra chocolate, but with skim milk.

  1.   Gertrude Stein

Stein also loved coffee.  She wrote: ‘Coffee gives you time to think. It’s a lot more than just a drink; it’s something happening. Not as in hip, but like an event, a place to be, but not like a location, but like somewhere within yourself. It gives you time, but not actual hours or minutes, but a chance to be, like be yourself, and have a second cup.’

As a barista – One of those clueless people who has no idea we were closing, even when I started putting up the rest of the chairs and turning off the lights.

  1.   Benjamin Franklin 

Franklin had high standards for his coffee. He said:  ’Among the numerous luxuries of the table…coffee may be considered as one of the most valuable. It excites cheerfulness without intoxication; and the pleasing flow of spirits which it occasions…is never followed by sadness, languor or debility.’

As a barista- A bit of a prick, but leaves good tips.

  1.   Alexander Pope

Pope enjoyed coffee. He said: ‘Coffee, which makes the politician wise, and see through all things with his half-shut eyes.’

As a barista- Tried this line on just about every female barista we have.

  1.   Jean Jacques Rousseau

Rousseau said:  ’Ah, that is a perfume in which I delight; when they roast coffee near my house, I hasten to open the door to take in all the aroma.

As a barista- He actually lives near the bakery. 

  1. Dave Barry

Barry wrote: ‘It is inhumane, in my opinion, to force people who have a genuine medical need for coffee to wait in line behind people who apparently view it as some kind of recreational activity.’

As a barista- The worst. He expected us to start his drink as soon as he stepped in, even if there were twenty people in front of him.

  1. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Goethe was an enthusiastic coffee drinker. Goethe was interested in decaffeinated coffee to reduce his insomnia. His friend, Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge, was able to isolate relatively pure caffeine from coffee beans in 1820.

As a barista- A pain. Always asks why we didn’t brew more Swiss Water Process decafs.

  1. Jonathan Swift

Swift needed coffee at least once a week to write. He said: ‘The best Maxim I know in this life is, to drink your Coffee when you can, and when you cannot, to be easy without it. While you continue to be splenetic, count upon it I will always preach. Thus much I sympathize with you that I am not cheerful enough to write, for I believe Coffee once a week is necessary to that.’

As a barista- Nice enough guy but always wants to talk when there were ten people in line behind him.

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I have roasted enough coffee in my day to know it isn’t really a pleasant aroma. It takes a couple days for it to be recognizable as coffee. 
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