These days, when we stimulate ourselves with a coffee or two at work, we do not really consider the remarkable cultural history of the drink we consume. The habits and traditions that first formed around coffee in North Africa and the Middle East are still a part of everyday life in those regions, but while they eventually spread to Europe as well, their success did not come easy. There were religious leaders and even sultans in the Ottoman Empire who wanted to see coffee banned due to its adverse spiritual and physical effects. Had they succeeded, the familiar coffee ritual would likely never have become a part of our lives.
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