Food | Drinks

5 Times World Leaders Tried To Keep You From Your Cup of Coffee

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Everyone loves a good cup of coffee right? Well actually that's not historically true. I don't just mean taste preferences either. Some people have had such a hate on for coffee that they've even tried to have it banned. That's a pretty big grudge. There have actually been at least 5 times in history that a Big Wig in charge of a country has tried to banned coffee.

First, a bit of coffee history.

First Cup

Map
GeoCurrents

The coffee plant was discovered in Ethiopia around the 11th century. Locals believed the plant had magical properties (and really they weren't wrong) and would boil the leaves in water, drinking the result.

It didn't take long for stories of the "magic plant" to spread to other regions, and soon people came to Ethiopia to get a taste for themselves. That's how coffee got to the Middle East about 300 years later.

Banned In Mecca

Coffeehouse
Hurriyet Daily News

The first known attempt from a governing official to ban coffee happened way back in 1511. The governor of Mecca, a giant city for the time, outlawed the drink. He claimed it stimulated radical thinking and was worried it would unite his enemies against him. It was believed at the time to be as intoxication as wine, so he had some backing from hard-line Muslims.

In the end coffee united his enemies just like he thought, but not in the way he was worried about. Public outcry over the ban united opposition and weeks later the Sultan of Cairo overruled the ban.

Coffee was saved! At least for another 100 years or so.

More Ban News on the next page!

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