Coffee as punishment - The coffee experiment

An uplifting anecdote for all coffee lovers. And tea drinkers can be pleased, too....

Coffee beans
© Photo by Rudy and Peter Skitterians at Pixabay

In the 17th and 18th centuries, the European beverage industry expanded to include previously unknown beverages from the colonies: coffee, tea and cocoa. When coffee consumption became more and more popular in Europe, the Swedish King Gustav III. (1746 -1792) was concerned about the alleged dangers of coffee, which had become a fashionable drink in high society in the 18th century and which he believed would lead to premature death.

He therefore enlisted identical twin brothers in an experiment. Both were criminals sentenced to death, whose death sentence would be commuted to life imprisonment - on condition that they agreed to participate in the following experiment: one twin had to drink 3 pots of coffee every day, while the other twin had to drink 3 pots of tea. Both men were fond of their lives and agreed to participate as guinea pigs in the experiment.

The two physicians who supervised the experiment were the first to die. They were followed by King Gustav III, who died in an assassination attempt in 1792.

Of the two criminals, the tea drinker eventually died first - but only at the blessed age of 83. The coffee drinker died last, though it is not known how old he became. However, he topped the 83 years of his twin brother.

With that in mind, here's a fitting quote from coffee entrepreneur Albert Darboven: "Coffee is only harmful if a whole sack with coffee beans falls on your head from the fifth floor."