Europeans Thought Coffee Was Satanic

Until the Pope tried it out and became a fan

Photo: Richard Eskite/Corbis

Coffee was not always loved. It has been feared, hated and misunderstood—sometimes in places known today for their love of the beans.

Take the Italians, for example.  Mental Floss writes:

When coffee arrived in Europe in the 16th century, clergymen pressed for it to be banned and labeled Satanic. But Pope Clement VIII took a taste, declared it delicious, and even quipped that it should be baptized. On the strength of this papal blessing, coffeehouses rapidly sprang up throughout Europe.

Coffee was soon a beloved commodity throughout that continent. Not everyone was pleased, however. In Prussia, King Frederick the Great staunchly forbid coffee drinking in 1777 because he thought it was impacting beer sales. Throughout the 18th century, women in Europe rallied against the drink, which they thought was causing their men to become impotent, National Geographic reports.

But the continent was already addicted. And once people are hooked on coffee, it's hard to beat.

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