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Showing posts from December, 2012

Sweden's Coffee Ban

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I recently quit coffee. And I love coffee. But I quit the bean to ease my migraines (working so far). Around the same time I tore through Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy and was struck with the sheer volume of coffee the girl with the dragon tattoo, Mikael Blomkvist and friends drank while seeking revenge and doing investigative journalism. It made me wonder... Do those long Scandinavian nights require insane amounts of coffee? Were all the coffee breaks taken by Lisbeth Salander a mere literary crutch?

 Rooney Mara as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in David Fincher's 2011 film
The answer to these questions can be found in the 18th century when Frederick I, the king of Sweden from 1720 to 1751, banned coffee in his kingdom. Coffee had first arrived in Sweden in the late 17th century, and by 1746 Fred decided he needed to tax the import. He taxed coffee paraphernalia and tea as well.

Fredrick I c. 1730
According theThe World of Caffeine: The Science and Culture of the World…