Thursday, February 16, 2012

Cup of Joe

I learned something new on my favorite podcast Stuff You Should Know the other day!  It was their "Coffee" podcast - where they told you all you needed to know about coffee, it's history, how to make it, where it comes from - etc, etc.  Josh and Chuck were very informative (as always).  

My favorite part though was the FUN FACT that I learned about why having a cup of coffee has been nicknamed "Cup o' Joe".  And I'm gonna share it with you! 

It turns out that coffee has become associated with America mostly because of the Boston Tea Party.  It seems pretty obvious, right?  England puts a high tax on tea, the new Americans in the colonies are pissed off, so they start drinking coffee instead.  Who'd have thunk it'd be that obvious?  I sure as heck didn't!

Tea, on the other hand, is very much associated with England.  In the UK, tea is a part of daily culture and people drink it all the time.  In fact, my grandma is British, and I think that's why me and my family find such love for a good cup of black tea with milk & sugar.  (Our favorite is P&G Tips by the way - it's excellent with honey & a splash of soymilk!)

Anyway, it became common for Brits to call a cup of tea simply "cuppa".  It was a bit redundant to say "would you like a cup of tea?" - when you could easily assume it was tea they wanted.  You could simply say "want a cuppa?" and be done with it! 

During World War II, a lot of American soldiers were in England.  But they didn't want tea - they wanted COFFEE.  And what's another thing you'd call an American G.I.?  How about a "Joe"?  G.I. Joe.  They wanted a "cuppa joe".  

How about that, huh? :)  Learn somethin' new every day.  

Speaking of which, now I really want myself a cup of joe!  Haha!  
I know I've totally used this picture before in one of my cutie-cute girl posts, but I couldn't resist.... hey, there's still coffee involved! :) 

The whole podcast made me think of my relationship with coffee.  I once got to the point where I would drink about 1-2 cups / day, but that was in college when I didn't really care about my health nearly as much as I do now. 

These days I stick to about 2 cups / week.  Sometimes (like this week), I go without any!  I think of it more as a treat instead of a requirement.  I would feel better about having it more regularly if I could drink it black, but I'm SO not one of those people.  I like cream (soymilk, actually), and plenty of sugar (natural or honey)!  It's just extra calories & sugar I don't need in a day. 

Oh how I used to wish I could be the tough guy and drink my coffee black.  I thought it was SO COOL if you could do that!  But then I saw "Pulp Fiction".  

If you remember, there's a scene where The Wolf (a total badass problem-solving character played by Harvey Kietel), is in Quentin Tarantino's character's kitchen.  Quentin asks him, "Would you like a cup of coffee?",  Harvey replies, "Yeah",  Quentin asks, "How do you take it?".... which Harvey replies, "Lotsa cream, lotsa sugar."

Let's just say I haven't felt bad about taking cream & sugar in my coffee ever since. 

All photos from We Heart It - except Harvey Keitel which was found via a Google Image search.


Kendra said...

SO INTERESTING. also, i will now star saying 'cuppa?' when offering tea. i hope it get blanks stares, it will be awesome.

Beth B said...

Haha! TOTALLY awesome. I hope I'm there when you do it! ;) Ha!

Anonymous said...

Interesting info on coffee!

My mother-in-law was british. Her favorite tea was PGtips and also Typhoo. I can only find those brands at Cost Plus World Market.

I love the cafe misto...steamed soy milk and coffee. It totally soothes me. :)

Beth B said...

Ooo I've never tried Typhoo - I'm going to have to check that out! They actually sell P&G Tips at Whole Foods now which is awesome.

Mmmm love me some misto too!! Good call. :)