And Gutenberg Lived Here: World Coffee Day.


The first of October is world coffee day?

Good grief, how do I hide this fact so my husband Harald doesn’t find it?

(He who can’t get up and moving without two cups, and I often felt would leave me

for a senorita in Cuba, Guatemala, Columbia,

or any of the other places the stuff is grown,

should our coffee supply run out.)

Actually, coffee here in Gutenberg land is a major liturgical rite.

From the huge breakfast with coffee just after giving birth-

tradition in the hospitals here-

to the “second breakfast” cuppa  (about 11 am)

to coffee after lunch,

afternoon coffee with cake,

and, at the end of a hopefully long and happy life,

a funeral with rock salt topped yeast cake and…


(The bill for my mother-in-law’s “coffee” was nearly as much as the coffin.

Now that’s macabre.)

During, and right after WWII, there was acorn coffee,

and chicory,

and “flower view”-

coffee so thin you could see the flowers at the bottom of the cup.

And now?

Coffee as espresso, cappuccino, latte,

you name it.

The larger cities have Starbucks,

the smaller “coffee Togo”

I assume something brewed from beans grown in the capital city of Lome.

And then, of course, there are the traditional places:

book shops with a coffee pot-

a well-kept secret here-

look for them primarily in the university towns.

Where they still buy books you can smell, and handle, and feel and ruffle in your hands and…

So what does that have to do with coffee?

Coffee is a feeling.

Something that does something to, or for, your body.

“I can’t seem to wake up-”


“I get these jitters every afternoon about four.”

Less coffee.

Or the slightly hidden:

“want a cup of coffee?”

which means “talk to me.”

Or even-  “so just dish all the dirt about Mrs S and the postman, will you?”


as Harald just mentioned,

German mathematicians headed off on a cultural exchange year to America

were told,

to prepare them for dating situations:

“Would you like to come up for a cup of coffee”  means…

And since I,

yes, me,

not Starbucks and co,

started the tradition of the Americano here in Gutenberg land-

the land of the much longer Italian tradition of super black roasted

which, when added to an empty tea mug and filled with water,

as I told the owner of a family restaurant that caters to the ZDF,

the second German television station,

where they pay bonuses for handing on ideas-

you get a passable Americano.

It’s now everywhere here.

Even available with lactose free milk.

After all, we are a state capital

with the second German tv,

a fabulous Isis and Magna Mater temple no one, unfortunately, seems to knows about,

the Gutenberg print museum,

the largest Coliseum north of the Alps,

and now, thanks to moi,

the lactose free Americano.

Which was probably drunk in some form or other by the Celts,

or Romans,

or dinosaur herders,

who lived here first.

And drunk with 2 extra shots of gorse bush extract,

and a slice of Roman meal bread

with olive oil and fish head sauce,

but hey,

coffee is coffee.

Happy world coffee day.

copyright Dunnasead 2017

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