Saturday, May 29, 2010

The History of Coffee - a DVD

"Modern Marvels: Coffee DVD"
History Channel Store

"Traces the origins of this tasty drink from Ethiopia over 1,000 years ago to the espresso-fueled explosion of specialty coffee stores like Starbucks today.

"Along the way, we'll see how American companies like Hills Brothers, Maxwell House, Folgers and MJB grew to be giants. Discover how billions of coffee beans make their journey from coffee farms and plantations, and are processed in gigantic roasting and packaging plants before showing up in coffee cups all over the world.

"Details the invention and production of instant coffee, decaffeinated coffee and freeze-dried coffee, and the espresso machine. Also, we explain how coffee made shift work in factories possible, while coffeehouses provided a creative cauldron that brewed political and artistic progress in the 18th and 19th centuries. And, we also provide tips on how to make a better cup at home!"

I've seen part of the documentary - and the assertion that coffee made the Industrial Revolution possible isn't as far-fetched as it sounds.

Think about it: before coffee got introduced to Europe, city-dwellers didn't want to risk disease by drinking water from rivers or wells (sewage treatment was of the 'throw it in the street' variety). To stay healthy, they drank - beer, mostly. As a result, by the end of the day folks were in a bit of a haze. Not in any condition to operate heavy machinery.

From the description, and what I saw on the History Channel, I'd get the DVD. But right now, there isn't room in the household budget for the $24.95 plus about $2.95 shipping and handling that it'd cost. Maybe next month. Or year.

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