So. You think you are a coffee fan eh? You go around telling people how much you love coffee. You can’t live without it. Its like, your ‘fav’ thing. You go around saying things like, ”smooth” or “nutty,” when you’re talking about coffee.
Well let me tell you something. No matter how peculiar you think your habits are it is probably nothing compared to what these famous geniuses were up to. I’m honestly pretty amazed by this discovery. It almost makes me wonder if I have taken my own coffee habits far enough. I mean, for crying out loud, I own a coffee business, I should be right at the top in the ‘coffee peculiarity’ scale! But truth be told, nothing really compares to what these folk were up to back in the day.
Ok, actually. If I am being brutally honest. Some of our current customers are not far off from the examples here, and many, have themselves been engraved in the Frequency history books for their own habits. But maybe more on that another time.
Lets start things off with Balzac, considered one of the greatest novelists and playwrights in history. This guy would get up at 1am each night and start his insane work routine often sitting at his desk for 15 hour-long stretches. At one point, he’s even said to have worked for 48-hours straight with just a 3-hour nap. This was of course fuelled by countless cups of black coffee. Rumour has it that Balzac drank as much as 50 cups a day and later in life, as his tolerance grew, he just ate the pure coffee grounds.
Ok Balzac. I get it. You like coffee. You’re a busy guy. But man, have some decency. I mean, if you go around just eating the stuff straight like that, all the brewing gear, latte art, recipes and whatnot that the baristas are trying to impress customers with, just goes out the window. It’s a dangerous example to set to be honest. Could put the coffee industry at risk.
Next up, we have good ol’ Benjamin Franklin, the all American polymath and one of the founding fathers of the United States. It turns out that whilst living in London, Ben loved to live the ‘coffee shop freelancer’ life (Aaah yes, he was one of those). He would hold all his political meetings, play chess, or just hang out listening to good conversations in coffee shops all day. I unfortunately know this character all too well.
Basically Ben was a wifi smoocher. Couldn’t afford the fees at the local Wework and was just going around using the free WIFI in his local coffee shops. And that’s not all. Listen to this. Ben, the ever-industrious businessman, was even going around selling his own coffee beans and having his mail delivered to his local coffee shop for heavens sakes! I mean who is this guy?
Ben. Man, what is this? I mean. I know you’re a founding father and all, but you can’t just sit in a shop all day on a 35cent cup of coffee. Not to mention if you are going around peddling your own beans to the customers for crying out loud! Who even does that?
Ok, to be clear. I’m just joking here. We have many of these so-called WIFI smoochers here at Frequency, which I totally love actually. These are often the customers who add the most vibe to the shop and end up becoming close friends. I’ve always supported having customers feel at home when in our shop. However, having your mail delivered here and occasionally peddling your own beans to other customers is a step too far in my view.
Next up we have Beethoven, one of the most influential composers in history. It turns out Beethoven was an early bird, often getting up at dawn and wasting little time before getting to work. His breakfast? Coffee. According to his biographer, Anton Schindler, “coffee seems to have been the one indispensable item in his diet.” The beauty here though, is that Beethoven always prepared the coffee himself. He started each day by counting out exactly 60 coffee beans per cup and grinding them fresh. In today’s terms, this is not far off from what a barista champion would use in a modern recipe. I mean, talk about being ahead of your time. What-a-guy. Apparently Beethoven is said to have used a glass contraption to make his coffee each day. Was he a French Press man perhaps?
Beethoven. B-dog, you’re cool with me. We can discuss v60 recipes anytime.
Another gem is Søren Kierkagaard, the prolific writer and Danish philosopher. It appears that our man Søren had about 50 sets of cups and saucers in his cupboard, but only one of each type. When it came time for his coffee, Søren would walk up to his cupboard and ask his secretary Levin, to choose a cup. Arbitrariness was not tolerated. Kierkagaard wanted a sound explanation each time. Levin, had to search his soul and justify his answer. The theatrics did not end there. Kierkagaard apparently liked to take the bag of sugar, fill his cup right up to the rim and then pour the coffee.
I can totally imagine Søren being a reusable cup type of a guy, trying to brag about his choice of cup of the day. Meanwhile, the barista would be trying to make his coffee and rush through the queue. I wonder at what point they would need to start charging him for the extra sugar though?
Well, these are just a few examples of the rituals that some famous geniuses enjoyed. Many of these habits are quite extreme, but some actually ring true when compared to some of the behaviours of our customers here at Frequency. This is why I love running a coffee shop so much. I am forever amazed and intrigued at the people I meet. It brings the coffee shop to life.
And what about you? Are you a wifi smoocher? Are you a bean counter? Have you ever caught your partner in the dark eating coffee straight out of the bag?
Share your thoughts with us.
This blog post was inspired by the amazing work of Amanda Scherker and her article “9 Famous Geniuses Who Were Also Huge Coffee Addict.”