Tuesday, July 22, 2003


a thought for the day...

I discovered this morning, this fascinating little essay on Coffee by Honore de Balzac:
(translated from the French by Robert Onopa).

For those who don't know Balzac was a French Author of middle 1800s, know for his more saucy dishes as opposed to his contemporary Maupassant who was far more Dicken's-like.

The Pleasures and Pains of Coffee

Coffee is a great power in my life; I have observed its effects on an epic scale...

Coffee affects the diaphragm and the plexus of the stomach, from which it reaches the brain by barely perceptible radiations that escape complete analysis; that aside, we may surmise that our primary nervous flux conducts an electricity emitted by coffee when we drink it. Coffee's power changes over time. Rossini has personally experienced some of these effects as, of course, have I. "Coffee," Rossini told me, "is an affair of fifteen or twenty days; just the right amount of time, fortunately, to write an opera." This is true. But the length of time during which one can enjoy the benefits of coffee can be extended.
For a while - for a week or two at most - you can obtain the right amount of stimulation with one, then two cups of coffee brewed from beans that have been crushed with gradually increasing force and infused with hot water.
For another week, by decreasing the amount of water used, by pulverizing the coffee even more finely, and by infusing the grounds with cold water, you can continue to obtain the same cerebral power.
When you have produced the finest grind with the least water possible, you double the dose by drinking two cups at a time; particularly vigorous constitutions can tolerate three cups. In this manner one can continue working for several more days.

I suggest you read the whole little essay (1 page or so) at:
It is quite entertaining.