The Pilot's Blog

5 Crazy Attempts to Ban Coffee

Murad IV Ghazi of the Ottoman Empire was not a fan of coffee. Find out why he banned it entirely.

One of the biggest flubs in human history was prohibition. Honestly, can you imagine a world without some Dizzy Three?! Frightening, we know.

Luckily for every responsible person over the age of 21, The Prohibition ended in 1933. As scary as prohibition sounds, we have 5 tales that are even scarier. The item up for banishment? Our beloved coffee!

As early as 1511, high-powered individuals have tried to ban coffee in various parts of the world. Why would they do this? Find out below in the 5 craziest attempts to ban coffee:

1. Mecca Mania
The year: 1511. The place: Mecca. Coffee was banned by the governor because he believed it stimulated radical thinking and would unite opposition against him. Coffee was believed to be as much of an intoxicant as wine. Not long after, however, the sultan of Cairo, who outranked the governor, overruled the idea and the ban was lifted.

2. Constanti“NOPE”le
When Murad IV Ghazi took absolute rule of the Ottoman Empire in 1623, he vowed to subdue corruption that preceded him. His strategy for this was to ban alcohol, tobacco and coffee. In addition, Murad IV complained the mosques were empty because people frequented the coffeehouses instead. It seemed as if the people’s demand for coffee eventually won out.

3. Satanic Espresso
During the 16th century, clergymen deemed espresso to be satanic and demanded that it be banned. These clergymen almost got their wish until Pope Clement VIII decided to try it for himself. He liked it so much he had it baptized. Holy Cup!

4. Prussia-ed Into It
In 1777, Frederick the Great of Prussia stated in his manifesto that beer, not coffee, was to be the superior beverage of Prussia. His reason for doing this was that “His Majesty was brought up on beer”. The Prussian people did not latch onto this fad and coffee won out as one of their favorite beverages.

5. Just Plain Odd
In 1746, King Gustav III and his regime in Sweden banned coffee and it’s “paraphernalia”. Police were ordered to confiscate any coffee-related utensils! In additional weirdness, the King, who obviously didn’t know much about his caffeinated foe, ordered coffee be tested on death row inmates. The experiment was to see how much coffee it took to kill a man. Doctors and scientists watched intently as the inmates begged and pleaded for their lives to go to the restroom.

Thankfully for all of us, coffee prevailed throughout history and now we’re all allowed to do things faster with more energy. Just think if Frederick the Great had it his way, we all might start every morning with a pint of suds, instead of Joe. It wouldn’t be too bad…we just wouldn’t be too productive now would we?

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