Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Coffee Day on Tuneful Tuesday

Bet y'all didn't know - or had forgotten - that September 29 is International Coffee Day.

Cue for a song, or two.

Java Jive is an obvious choice. It was written by Ben Oakland and Milton Drake in 1940, originally performed by The Ink Spots. This is a later, 1970s, version by The Manhattan Transfer :

Not as obvious to most is the song that springs immediately to my own mind whenever coffee is mentioned. The song isn't about coffee, but the first line is.
Coffee black, cigarettes, start this day, like all the rest,
First thing every morning that I do, Is start missing you....

I like the song, it reminds me of an old friend who used to sing it often, and to my ear sang it even better than the original Don Williams 1970s recording. Don Williams sings it in the video below, backed by some images from the movie Brokeback Mountain. The song was written by Wayland Holyfield.

If you're a coffee drinker, why not have an extra cup in honour of the day? I'm a bit of a Philistine when it comes to coffee at home. I use instant, as do (or did) many Brits. I'm picky about the type and brand though. I'll use only Nescafé Colombian instant, Starbucks Colombian instant (a tad expensive, but good) and Nescafé Freeze Dried - but the latter is hard to find in Oklahoma, and exorbitant shipping charges preclude buying it online.


Sonny G said...

We got a kuerig the other day and 6- 24 count cartons of Dunkin Donuts coffee.

aaaahhhhh , its so good its like dessert:) we have high octane in the morning and decaf in the evening.
we are Coffee Addicts lol

Twilight said...

Sonny ~ Husband can't drink coffee nowadays (the caffeine isn't good for him) so it'd be a waste for me to do the proper coffee thing via machine (and probably the scent would be a temptation for Himself). I had a proper coffee in a proper coffee place (not Starbucks - an indie/arty one) in Salina KS at the weekend - From their chalkboard list I chose "Americano". Mmmmm! Now THAT was a goo-ood cup of coffee!

mike said...

Your sidebar, "Coffee before talkie", is definitely my motto. I'm usually up around 5 or 6 AM, but one across-the-street neighbor is up at 4 AM, had her coffee, and is perkily watering plants. She's into talkie when I take GiGi out for the first morning discharge, but my eyes are Xs, my mind is awash, and MY coffee is waiting upon return to the house. I always drink my coffee on the porch, because Junior the cat and GiGi eat their breakfast there.

Venus has been rising very early, about 5 AM now, and Jupiter is preceding the Sun by about an hour. Jupiter is a bit dim, but will brighten considerably the next month or two, as it rises earlier and earlier. Both Mars and Venus will conjunct Jupiter in late October and should make for a nice early morning entertainment while sipping the hot coffee.

I typically drink one cup of coffee every day. I like it scalding hot and our scalding morning temperatures preclude more than a cup, if even that. Some of our mornings are super hot and humid, and the discomfort level sets-in at half a cup. My ability to perfectly take pleasure in a steamy cup of coffee is in the very late fall season, usually late November through December.

I don't like instant coffee at all...wish I did, as it would simplify my life. I like our local grocery store's cheap, eponymous-label, ground coffee...$2.88 for 13 ounces. Peet's coffee, specifically Major Dickinson's Blend, is my all-time favorite, but too pricey for my bank account to accommodate.

I'd have to say that a little coffee goes a long way. A previous supervisor of Middle Eastern descent, drank a full cup of espresso before work, then drank cup after cup of coffee at work. By mid-afternoon his cheery mood transformed to darkness, as he became an angry beast! We all knew to not disturb him then, lest off with our heads.

When the FDA was first organized in the early 1900s, Dr. Harvey Wiley proposed that all caffeine containing products be banned, including coffee. Coca-Cola reformulated their product after removing cocaine, substituting caffeine:
"In 1911, caffeine became the focus of one of the earliest documented health scares, when the US government seized 40 barrels and 20 kegs of Coca-Cola syrup in Chattanooga, Tennessee, alleging the caffeine in its drink was 'injurious to health'. Although the judge ruled in favor of Coca-Cola, two bills were introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1912 to amend the Pure Food and Drug Act, adding caffeine to the list of 'habit-forming' and 'deleterious' substances, which must be listed on a product's label."

A tremendous amount of ecological damage has occurred, due to coffee production. And as LB has commented regarding chocolate production, child labor and generalized detrimental labor practices surround coffee production and wholesaling.

mike (again) said...

P.S. - Ever wonder where all this coffee comes from?

Global coffee production in 2011 was 7,875,180 metric tonnes or 17 billion pounds! Wow! That's a lot of beans.


Sonny G said...

My ex was a coffee fanatic- 12 to 15 cups a day and as soon as he laid his head on the pillow- snooooooooooooooore lol.. odd how caffeine reacts differently on folks.

I admit 2 cups in a row is my limit or I'd be climbing the walls.
I fully agree, caffeine is a drug- no doubt about it.

Annie, my favorite Coffee Shop/Used Book store closed. I miss the ambiance, the people, the smell of old books and whatever their special blend of coffee was. It was a secret lol.. The couple who owned it also make fresh cinnamon buns early every morning.. oh my goodness, they were delish. Starbucks is too full of yuppies to suit me. I like a quiet little corner with soft furniture and good conversation with my coffee.. some places can never be replaced but I am so glad I have the memories.

Twilight said...

mike ~ Lots of good, interesting observations there, mike - many thanks!

I seldom drink more than one large mug of coffee, and that's first thing I do when upright, dressed and combed. I'll sometimes take a coffee in restaurants if bottled water isn't on offer, rather than have to put up with their horrendous water or "fountain drinks" piled with nasty ice that tastes of chlorine. That stuff affects my tum for days after. It was one of the first problems to hit me when I arrived in the US - all unknowing! :-) Mind you, sometimes their coffee tastes as bad as the chlorine!

(again) ~ Goodness me! It's a wonder this old Earth hasn't yet given up the coffee ghost!

Twilight said...

Sonny ~ Yes, I do enjoy those arty/bookish/indie coffee places. We come across them from time to time on our travels; they do stay in memory because of the pleasantly old fashioned atmosphere, with interesting people around, as well as the excellent coffee they unfailingly dish up. I dislike Starbucks bars - can't be doing with those perkily annoying baristas and the miles of different options on the menu board which they don't give one enough time to consider. Their regular coffee is but mediocre in any case.

LB said...

Welcome home, Twilight.:)

I used to LOVE my morning cups of coffee. Unfortunately it didn't love me back so I had to stop drinking it. Not even decaf.

Now that I know what I know, it's probably just as well. Coffee is similar to chocolate in that its production often involves the exploitation, abuse, sometimes even enslavement of workers, many of them children:



Fairly traded, ethically and sustainably produced organic coffee is becoming more available, though it's also more expensive. The higher cost has helped to limit my husband's intake ~ I think he's down to a cup a day now (usually). He still buys an occasional cup of 'regular' coffee when he's out.:(

Like I said, I'm glad I kicked the habit.

LB said...

Oops! I meant to include this link as well, not the same link twice:


There's a lot of talk about the wrong-doing of corporations in the exploitation of people and planet, but as consumers we play a role as well.

Twilight said...

LB ~ Thanks, and thank you for these links. Yes, there's a darker side to our morning coffee. With increased global population came increased demand, and increased exploitation of those needed to meet supply and demand, and make more profit from it. I'm surprised that most of the harvesting can't, by now, be carried out by some type of robotic machinery (but no - of course that'd cut into profits wouldn't it!?)

Throughout history exploitation has continued, on all fronts, from medieval and later peasants toiling in the fields of aristocratic wealthy landowners in Britain and Europe, to early factory workers of the Industrial Age, to today's global potential for even wider spread exploitation, slavery and higher profits - let's not forget the profits.

It'll never change, I fear. All we can do, individually, is limit what we consume, and remain always aware of what we're doing. Nothing will ever change human nature's darker side.