Is coffee really harmful? What does carbolic acid have to do with coffee? How does 'humour' relate to coffee? Why did the 'Maidens of London' blame coffee for their husbands lack of virility in 1663? How does coffee relate to sex and masturbation? And is it a coincidence that detractors of coffee are in the burgeoning business of selling coffee substitutes?
From the earliest days of medicine, doctors have come to many unsound conclusions relating to tea and coffee. Ignorance continued to dominate thinking about these beverages until the beginning of the nineteenth century when caffeine was discovered and chemically defined and then incorrectly classified as a narcotic.
In tracing the history of anti-coffee crusaders, Ian Bersten has uncovered bizarre theories based in sexual paradigms from the first health reform movements. The inventor of Homeopathy, Samuel Hahnemann, wrote against coffee in the nineteenth century. The chief opposition came from on of the most influential health fanatics, John Harvey Kellogg.