Weekend Words: Coffee

Vincent van Gogh, “Pensioner Drinking Coffee” (1882). Lithograph, 428 x 270 mm. Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh, Amsterdam. (image via Web Gallery of Art)

Last weekend’s Weekend Word was tea; this week, equal time for coffee.

“A cup of coffee – real coffee – home-browned, home ground, home made, that comes to you dark as a hazel-eye, but changes to a golden bronze as you temper it with cream that never cheated, but was real cream from its birth, thick, tenderly yellow, perfectly sweet, neither lumpy nor frothing on the Java: such a cup of coffee is a match for twenty blue devils and will exorcise them all.”

—Henry Ward Beecher

“Many people claim coffee inspires them, but, as everybody knows, coffee only makes boring people even more boring.”

—Honore de Balzac, Treatise on Modern Stimulants

“Coffee makes us severe, and grave, and philosophical.”

—Jonathan Swift

“It is inhumane, in my opinion, to force people who have a genuine medical need for coffee to wait in line behind people who apparently view it as some kind of recreational activity.”

—Dave Barry

“Complancencies of the peignoir, and late
Coffee and oranges in a sunny chair,
And the green freedom of the cockatoo
Upon a rug mingle to dissipate
The holy hush of ancient sacrifice.”

—Wallace Stevens, “Sunday Morning”

“I judge a restaurant by the bread and by the coffee.”

—Burt Lancaster

“Black as the devil, Hot as hell,
Pure as an angel, Sweet as love.”

—Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand, on the perfect cup of coffee

“After a heated argument on some trivial matter Nancy [Astor]… shouted ‘If I were your wife I would put poison in your coffee.’ Whereupon Winston [Churchill] with equal heat and sincerity answered, ‘And if I were your husband I would drink it.'”

—Consuelo Vanderbilt Balsan, Glitter and Gold

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