Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Perking Away

James Mason of Franklin, Massachusetts invented the coffee percolator on December 26, 1865. Good thing he did because it gave my father something to do every morning. He'd fill the glass Pyrex pot with water, spoon his Eight O'Clock coffee from A&P into the basket and set the pot on the stove to perk. When the coffee was the right color he'd turn the burner down to simmer and pour himself a cup. The smell of coffee permeated the house. It still says morning to me today.

Coffee is the second most traded commodity (after oil) and one of the most consumed drinks in the world. The U.S. is the largest coffee consuming country in the world, downing an estimated 400 million cups every day.

The most expensive coffee in the world hails from Indonesia. Kopi Luwak is made from coffee beans eaten, partly digested and then excreted by the common palm civet, a weasel-like animal. The beans are picked up by locals and sold. They can cost up to $600 a pound, and up to $50 a cup.

History is full of quirky coffee stories. For example, in 1675 Charles II, King of England issued a proclamation banning Coffee Houses. He stated they were places where people met to plot against him. In the 17th century when coffee came to Europe Pope Clement VIII banned coffee stating it was the "Devils Tool". This changed shortly after the Pope had a cup and pronounced coffee legal again. Cowboys filled their socks with coffee beans, dunked the sock in boiling water then squeezed the coffee into their cups.

Boy, bet you're glad you learned all that.


Visuals for this post: Themed exploration of visual statements in the form of question, answer and patterning. Bonus:


  1. Don't drink the stuff myself, but it's always fun to learn new things. Turn all these images into teapots and tea cups, and you'd really have a winner :)

  2. Love the graphics and love thinking about the smell of coffee in the morning. Gets me going every day. Thanks Rand