A: Before we get going on the art, let’s chat about the worth of this delectable beverage. It’s estimated that about one-third of the world’s population consumes the dark, caffeinated deliciousness that is coffee. And for said deliciousness we can thank the farmers of the Islamic world, who first cultivated coffee plants in the early 15th Century. Perhaps this explains why Arabs were inventing algebra while Europeans were busy debating how many angels could fit on the head of a pin.
It may also have something to do with why Europe’s Renaissance kicked into high gear in the 16th century (the same year coffee was introduced there). But as long as we’re giving coffee credit for fostering human innovation, add the masterpieces of composer (and noted java fan) Johann Sebastian Bach to that list.
In 1732, Bach wrote “Kafee Kantate,” which told the comic story of a man who wants his daughter to give up drinking the beverage, but the woman refuses. Coffee, she sings, “is lovelier than a thousand kisses.” Amen, sister.