FOOD: The Cup That Agitates

Coffee has always been exciting. According to a Syrian legend, its use as a beverage began when the head of a Moslem monastery, who noticed that his goats got frisky after eating coffee berries, brewed some to keep his monks awake at evening prayers. Some Moslem fanatics objected violently to its use; it was outlawed and bootlegged in parts of the East.

On the other hand, Sultan Selim I is said to have liked coffee so much that he hanged two Persian doctors who said it was bad for the health—a fate that...

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