Caffeine is the world's most popular drug! Almost all of us start our day with a jolt of caffeine from coffee, tea or cola. And many of us crave chocolate when we're stressed or depressed. Without it we're lethargic, head-achy and miserable. Why? Why do we crave caffeine? How much do we really know about our number one drug of choice?
Here is the first natural, cultural, and artistic history of our favorite mood enhancer--how it was discovered, its early uses, and the unexpected parts it has played in medicine, religion, painting, poetry, learning, and love. Weinberg and Bealer tell an intriguing story of a remarkable substance that has figured prominently in the exchanges of trade and intelligence among nations and whose most common sources, coffee, tea, and chocolate, have been both promoted as productive of health and creativity and banned as corrupters of the body and mind or subverters of social order.
Some Highlights From the World of Caffeine
Balzac's addiction to caffeine drove him to eat coffee, as some schizophrenic patients are observed to do today, and may have killed him
Mary Tuke breaks the male monopoly on tea in England in 1725
The ways caffeine functions as a "smart pill"
Goethe's responsibility for the discovery of caffeine
Did a mini Ice Age help bring coffee, tea and chocolate to popularity in Europe?
What is the mystery of coffee's origin?
As good as gold: the stories of how caffeine, in its various forms, was used as cash in China, Africa, Central America and Egypt
What does the civet cat have to do with the most costly coffee on earth today?
The World of Caffeine is a captivating tale of art and society -- from India to Balzac to cybercafes -- and the ultimate caffeine resource.