A fig for partridges and quails,
ye dainties I know nothing of ye;
But on the highest mount in Wales
Would choose in peace to drink my coffee.
Do you also enjoy a good cup of coffee? Well, then you are in good company here!
Both the writer of this web site and its main composer Beethoven are respectively were passionate coffee drinkers. While the otherwise not very “domestic’ Rhinelander, according to reports by some of his contemporaries, was supposed to have grinded his own coffee beans and to carefully have counted out sixty! beans per cup for this purpose, not long after the Turks had brought coffee to Vienna during their storm at the Austrian capital in 1683, namely only two years after, in 1685, coffee also made its first appearance in the laater realm of Thomas Cantor Bach, namely in Leipzig.
In order for me to be able to report more details of this, I am very pleased that, by a fortunate coincidence, I came across a delightful little booklet by Hans-Joachim Schulze (the Director of the Leipzig Bach Archive) entitled Ey! wie schmeckt der Coffee süße from the year 1985. Readers of the creation history of the St. Matthew Passion might remembers that it was Professor Schulze who was so kind as to provide me with details with respect to the year 1727 as the year of the premiere of this work. In his booklet that was probably published for the Bach year 1985, he writes:
“. . . 1685 war für die Messemetropole Leipzig in mehrfacher Hinsicht ein Schicksalsjahr. Nicht nur wurde im fernen Eisenach dem Stadtpfeifer Johann Ambrosius Bach ein achtes Kind beschert, das auf den Namen Johann Sebastian hörte (wenn es dazu aufgelegt war) und Jahrzehnte später dem Leipziger Rat, der Kirchenbehörde, den Ratsmusikern und den Chorschülern aus allerdings unterschiedlichen Gründen manches Kopfzerbrechen bereitete – 1685 soll auch die Geburtsstunde des ersten Leipziger Kaffeehauses geschlagen haben, des noch heute florierenden Lokals “Zum arabischen Coffee-Baum” (Schulze: 6 – 7; Professor Schulze reports here that 1685 was a fateful year for the trading center Leipzig in may ways. Not only was there born in the remote Eisenach, to the town piper Ambrosius Bach, his eigth child who answered to the name of Johann Sebastian (if he was in the mood for it) and who would, decades later, cause much trouble for Leipzig’s town council, the church authorities, the town musicians and choir pupils, albeit, due to quite different reasons–1685 was also supposed to be the year of the opening of the first Leipzig Coffee house that still flourishes today, “Zum arabischen Coffee-Baum” [to the Arabian Coffee Tree]).
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