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Must Have Caffeine: Real Life
  • Truth in Television: Caffeine is physically addictive, and sudden withdrawal from it does induce blinding headaches, extreme fatigue, and near total inability to focus. What's worse is that your body very rapidly become dependent on it. Estimates are that when you start regularly drinking coffee, you only have about one week until your body adjusts to the caffeine intake, and you are right back where you started, except that now if you don't have your morning cup of coffee, you will be worse than you were before you started drinking it.
  • When Washington State was deciding on a design for their state quarter, they took in many suggestions from the public. One suggestion was a steaming mug of coffee.
  • Scandinavian, and especially Swedish, culture is known for its "fika": short breaks from work in which everyone in the workplace drinks coffee, small talks and optionally have a cigarette if they are so inclined. This is usually a communal activity, and occurs several times a day.
  • In Norway, the equivalent of tea time is called coffee. Just coffee. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee, supper. Preferred black, no milk, no sugar, no cream, no taint upon the pureness of coffee — though increasing multiculturalism is breaking that tradition little by little. Likewise in Denmark or in Germany and other European countries.
    • In Denmark, most people also drink coffee at breakfast, sometimes at lunch and often in the evening if they don't have to get up early the next day (that is, when they don't drink alcohol). Most grown-up Danes are addicted to coffee and can barely last through the day - especially the morning - without it, though caffeine addiction is for some reason not considered an addiction like with nicotine, alcohol and drugs. When you receive guests, you are strongly expected to be able to serve them coffee even if you don't drink it yourself - not just as a polite gesture, but also because most Danes simply cannot make it through a visit of more than a few hours without a cup of coffee (though this most applies until the afternoon, since in the evening most people will have had their necessary daily caffeine fix).
  • Stoughton, Wisconsin — a town made up primarily of descendants of Norwegian immigrants — claims to be the birthplace of the coffee break.
  • Finland has the highest consumption of coffee per capita.
  • In the Finnish Armed Forces, coffee is called "petroleum" for two reasons; first, the army brand coffee tastes like kerosene, and second, it keeps the armed forces running and act as fuel for the personnel.
  • According to the UnDutchables, the Dutch are a living coffee cult. And no, not for the shops.
  • Kids get one cup of coffee in the morning in many places in Europe and the Middle East. This would have started centuries ago among country people, where little kids got up early to herd sheep or do other simple tasks from a very early age.
  • Richard O'Brien had to go to rehab for caffeine overdose, reportedly.
  • French author Voltaire claimed to drink 72 cups of coffee a day. Even though cups were generally smaller and coffee generally weaker than today, that is one man who loved his coffee. When someone told him that coffee was "a slow poison", Voltaire responded, "It must be slow, for I have been drinking it for sixty-five years and am not dead yet."
  • Surrealist film director David Lynch has his own brand of coffee and reportedly drinks 18 cups a day, whilst practicing transcendental meditation. This may explain a thing or two about his work...
  • One theory for the origin of the term "cup of Joe" is that it was named for Secretary of the US Navy, Admiral Josephus Daniels, who abolished the officers' wine mess in 1914, after which coffee was the drink of choice on navy ships.
  • During the American Civil War, if Union soldiers didn't have time to make coffee many of them would suck on the grounds just to get the taste. Soldiers of both sides who weren't that lucky (if shipments were disrupted) experimented with chicory, roasted dandelion roots, burned nutshells...
    • Coffee had a major role in the Civil War for both sides.
  • There were many cases where the armies of either side were camped close enough together that the outer pickets could talk with each other. When that happened, illicit trading often took place. One of the most common trades was tobacco (Grown in the South) for coffee (Shipped in by Northern trading companies). There's also the "ranger dip", where the powdered instant coffee that's in almost every MRE is placed in the mouth like a dip of tobacco, in order to keep awake.
  • U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt was a teetotaller, but he was said to drink at least a gallon of coffee on a slow day. He coined the Maxwell House Coffee slogan "Good to the last drop". Seeing as Roosevelt suffered from asthma, and caffeine is a reasonably good remedy for it (especially in an era without modern inhaler medication), the president was likely self-medicating.
  • Musician Frank Zappa's drugs of choice were caffeine and nicotine.
  • John Lennon liked Gitane cigarettes and "down and dirty black, black coffee" according to Rolling Stone.
  • Mike Patton of Faith No More wrote one song about sleep deprivation after subjecting himself to staying awake for three days in a row, aptly named "Caffeine". He claimed around the time that he doesn't drink alcohol, but drinks 8 cups of coffee a day.
  • Dave Grohl, while in-studio with Them Crooked Vultures. FRESH POOOTS! Unfortunately this landed him in the hospital with heart palpitations, though Dave didn't take long to make fun of himself about it.
  • Coffee was all the rage among Englishmen in the 1700's. There were different coffeehouses for politicians, merchants, sea captains, soldiers, poets, and anything else one can think of. For instance Lloyds was once a mariners and insurers coffeehouse. It was only later that tea became fashionable. In a way, The British Empire was conquered with coffee and ruled with Tea.
  • In one of his commentaries for Dilbert, Scott Adams claims that he once accidentally drank decaf one morning and thought he was sick.
  • Robert Downey, Jr. says that he has been known to wake up, do a triple shot of espresso, and then head back to bed.
  • A link on the right side of the Hyperbole And A Half homepage is an enthusiastic plug for a coffee shop, which supposedly named a blend after the author.
  • Alton Brown is a self-described coffee aficionado (among other things), dedicated at at least two entire shows to it (one for coffee, one for espresso). People have often commented on the very large amount of coffee he uses just for a standard cup. Alton argues that the more coffee you use the less bitter the brew is.
  • Coffee is the second most common trade good in the world behind only oil.
  • While any kind of college student can be partial to the bean (particularly around exam and paper due dates), coffee's status in architecture schools approaches sacramental. Likewise lots of professional schools. Medical schools (and by extension the rest of the allied health professions), law schools and business schools are all notorious for housing prodigious numbers of coffee fiends, largely due to heavy workloads and irregular study/practical hours. If a law school or medical school has one commercial enterprise on its premises, chances are it's a coffee shop (although in the case of law schools, this is because setting up a bar on campus is too uncomfortably apropos).
  • Coffee was first discovered in what's today Ethiopia (allegedly by a goat farmer who witnessed his animals' strange behavior after they ate coffee berries) and made its way over to pre-Islamic Iraq, where it was used in religious rituals. The rituals involved staying up all night participating in some rites and festivals on certain holidays, and this coffee greatly helped. Eventually, it lost its "special occasion" status, and people started drinking it on a more regular basis.
    • The tale of how coffee lost "special occasion" status is quite fascinating. Although it was known in Christian Iraq (Iraq had mostly converted to Christianity a few centuries before the Arabs rolled out of the south), it was in Islamic times that coffee really spread. Sufi Muslim mystics used it to help them meditate, which (as noted) was not a new thing. However, Sufis meditated more often than the Christian Ethiopians and Iraqis, and more importantly, Sufism tends to be very popular with ordinary Muslims, as it recognizes things like saints and shrines and so on, and encourages more direct spiritual connections than other forms of Islam (which, like Judaism, tend to be more legalistic). As a result, demand for coffee grew, and as it happened, Muslim Yemen proved to be an excellent place to grow the stuff. As Yemeni Sufis spread throughout the Muslim world, they brought their custom with them far and wide, which created even greater demand. Eventually, the habit grew roots in Egypt and Anatolia (modern Turkey), where Sufism has always been an integral part of the culture. Coffeehouses sprang up like mad, and from these two places spread to Europe: Italy got coffee peacefully (through the spice trade, whose center was Cairo), and Austria got it it...less peacefully (reportedly from bags of the stuff left behind by Turkish soldiers at the Siege of Vienna). On the other hand, for whatever reason, the coffee-bearing Sufis never managed to get past Iran. (They also didn't get past Libya, but that's another tale entirely.)
  • When coffee first became widespread in the Islamic world, religious scholars debated whether or not the caffeine buzz was prohibited under the Islamic ban on drunkenness. Older scholars were firmly against it while the younger generation (who had grown up with regular coffee drinking) were more progressive. Eventually, the older generation died and those in favor of coffee won.
  • Pope Clement VIII probably helped the Christian world accept it with his coffee blessing. He was a scholar too, and wasn't about to give up his 3 a.m. joe just because some stuffy old redhats said it was an Islamic thing and therefore non-Christian.
  • Caffeine is quite habit-forming, and the withdrawal symptoms can be unpleasant, about as bad as a cold or a weak flu: inability to concentrate, drowsiness, intense headaches, and irritability that last for about a week. The suggested way to get through it is 100 mg of caffeine (one cup of instant coffee) a day and aspirin.
  • Italians adore strong coffee. Very strong. Comparatively, most of the world drinks hot water that's not strong enough to be called coffee.
  • In Turkey, people like coffee strong. So much so that in the Balkans, "Turkish coffee" has become a nickname for extremely strong coffee. Indeed, "Turkish Coffee" is a staple at Balkan or Mediterranean cafes and restaurants elsewhere as well. It's typically brewed by boiling the grounds for 5-10 minutes.
  • Some studies have found that regular doses of caffeine, about 1-2 cups per day, can lower a persons risk of developing some forms of mental degradation later in life, and have been shown to slow the progression of Alzheimer's.
  • Cambridge computer engineers invented the webcam...so they could see from their workstations whether or not the pot in the coffee room was full.
  • Programmers in general are usually addicted to the stuff. while(!bug_found()) { drink(coffee); try_to_find_bug();}
    "A programmer is a well-tuned vending machine. Insert caffeine, receive code."
    "Another pot of coffee down the programming hatch!"
    "Caffeine Allocation Error: COFFEE.SYS missing, Programmer halted."
    "GOSUB:coffee; work;RETURN:" (and many more)
  • Many coffee users, finding the process of filtering their beans with water too inefficient a delivery device for the precious, precious caffeine molecule, have started eating the beans directly. Chocolate-covered coffee beans have been around since the 1970s for this reason; they're easily available in coffee shops, natural groceries and sweet shops.
  • The entire veterinary world runs on caffeine. Especially emergency and referral centers. It has been noted, half-jokingly, in veterinary technology/nursing schools that one of the most important skills for a vet tech/nurse is to know when to go fetch the veterinarian on call more caffeine.
    • If you're an ER nurse, then most of your calories come from Caffeine and Ibuprofen.
  • There is a mention above about a fictional drink called coffetea. This is a real thing (coffee mixed with tea), they call it 'Yuanyang tea' around Hong Kong and Taiwan.
  • David Foster Wallace was apparently fond of putting tea bags in hot coffee for extra flavor and kick.
    Det. Harris. Tea... and coffee? That makes it — toffee!
  • Britney Spears indicated in her Hawaiian special, she's very fond of having Mocha coffees in the morning when she works. She's also almost the unofficial spokesperson for Starbucks she's seen walking away from there so often, on working and non-working days.
  • John Flansburgh and John Linnell of They Might Be Giants are well-known coffee addicts.
  • Gerard and Mikey Way of My Chemical Romance.
  • Since amphetamines are no longer easily available to people, mathematicians have been forced to settle for coffee. A variously attributed quote on the matter:
    "A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems."
  • Certain individuals, wanting to turn their dosage of caffeine Up to Eleven have, through experimentation, developed "Student Coffee", AKA "Coffin Varnish". It involves brewing coffee with cola (usually Dr. Pepper), energy drinks, or yesterday's coffee.
  • While it's something of a stereotype to presume that the average gamer is sitting in the middle of a triangle consisting of controllers, processed cheese snacks, and two-liter bottles of soda, several manufacturers of caffeinated beverages have tried to appeal to the gamer market, most notably Mountain Dew, though Bawls and Red Bull are also strong contenders. At least one of the three can be found at most all-night game sessions, especially at gaming centers. This may have something to do with bottles and cans of soda being safer to imbibe without looking than a hot cup of coffee, and therefore less risky for distracted players and the establishments they frequent.
  • American Naval officer and historian Samuel Eliot Morison famously said "The Navy could probably win a war without coffee but it wouldn't like to try."
  • During a recent appearance on deadmau5' informal "coffee run" video series, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford ordered a quintuple espresso. Even Deadmau5/Joel, who usually orders an extra large and has been known to quaff several Coca-Colas during studio sessions, was amazed.
  • If you are a touring musician, coffee and energy drinks will be your lifeblood. Between lengthy drives, irregular and frequently nonexistent sleep schedules (best defined as "sleeping in shithole motels or on some dude's floor for a few hours before you have to bounce"), the need to stave off hangovers after nights of heavy drinking, load-in times that are far too early, and a need to not be half-dead when you're actually on stage, you will worship those substances and treat them as if they were truly gifts from the gods. Next to discount department stores and Guitar Center locations, Dunkin' Donuts and Tim Horton's will be the most important non-venue landmarks while on tour.

Western AnimationMust Have Caffeine    

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