The U of Chicago and Fox & Obel are offering a two-hour course at the end of January, entitled Coffee Makes You Think
When coffee houses started springing up all over Europe in the middle of the seventeenth century, their featured drink was presented as a thinking person's alternative to alcohol. Coffee, as an anonymous poem had it, was "that Grave and Wholesome Liquor,/that heals the Stomach, makes the Genius quicker,/ Relieves the Memory, revives the Sad,/and cheers the Spirits, without making Mad." Coffee houses have been popular ever since, often functioning as crucial resources for a democratic culture - as hotbeds of political, religious, and philosophical debate and speculation, centers of literary and artistic innovation, exchanges for financial information, and much more. It is therefore fitting that the Graham School and Fox & Obel Food Market should collaborate on a "coffee cupping" - a blind tasting of coffees from different regions - that will help you learn both how to evaluate the beans and brew and how to appreciate the cultural significance of this drink. The program will feature Doug Zell, co-founder of Intelligentsia Coffee, and John Brewer, the Eli and Edye Broad Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences and professor of History and Literature at the California Institute of Technology, and author of the award-winning The Pleasures of the Imagination.
You might just find me there. The series also includes a session on chocolate and on French bread.