Famous Coffee Drinker: Voltaire (1694-1778)
The learned Voltaire was known for his perspicuity, sarcastic wit and his passion for coffee. Brillat-Savarin credited the beverage for the remarkable clarity in Voltaire’s writings. An incorrigible lover of coffee and Parisian coffee houses, the writer and philosopher was a regular at the Le Procope café and helped convert the establishment into one of the most popular literary meeting grounds in Paris. To those who implored him to reduce his coffee intake, he replied: “I’ve been drinking coffee for over 50 years. That it is poison, I am convinced, but its ill effects have yet to have any bearing on my health.”
Famous Coffee Drinker: Louis XV (1710-1774)
The reign of Louis XV is fondly remembered for giving rise to aristocratic cuisine. The cuisine itself was on the path to refinement, and the noble men and women of the king’s court were known to partake of the actual cooking. Louis XV went as far as to grow his own crop of coffee beans in greenhouses on the Versailles Palace grounds. He handpicked the beans, roasted and ground them. He derived the greatest pleasure from making his entrance in a salon with coffee pot in hand, ready to pour for his guests. Needless to say, when a certain Madame du Barry exclaimed “Hey, la France, your coffee’s lousy,” she was not addressing the king, but rather, a steward by the name of La France!