Java Man: How Caffeine Created the Modern World
It is almost unbelievable how things in the modern world had humble beginnings. Some of the magnificent buildings, practices, hobbies, nations, careers, as well as philosophies, were once ideas in someone’s mind. That person then made it his personal dedication to actualize the dream and make it a reality knowing that what your mind can conceive, and your heart believes, then you can achieve. The good book advises the human population to respect humble beginnings and Jesus, Son of God, even went ahead and gave the parable of the mustard seed that is minuscule in size yet sprouts big trees. The mustard seed's small size makes it very hard to imagine the tree that it is capable of producing but well, that’s just how it is. This essay is going to focus on the origin of caffeine and how Gladwell uses historical detail and humor to support his observation on the caffeine-powdered culture of the American people.
The first and most vivid historical detail that Gladwell uses is the history of Coca-Cola. By illustrating the humble beginning of Coca-Cola and its current popularity, Gladwell alludes this to caffeine. Coca-Cola is most people’s favorite beverage. However, very few people know its history. The first Coca-Cola came up in the late nineteenth century. It was formerly called as Pemberton’s French Wine Coca with ingredients such as caffeine, alcohol, coca and cocaine. Due to social pressure, some components were dropped such as wine and coca in that order. The remaining ingredients were used to come up with the traditional Coca-Cola beverage which was the mild version of coffee and preferred choice for children. However, the power of advertisement saw this simple recipe to the levels of perfect universal beverage it is today. Coca-Cola was popularized as children’s caffeine, the ads used it to brand and sold this locally drink. Haddon Sundblom was the commercial artist responsible for marketing Coca-Cola to what it is today. In a Santa Claus outfit holding a bottle of Coke, in one way or another, he managed to convince the world that in his hand was the miracle mixture that refreshes.
Secondly, Gladwell uses various people’s perspective on caffeine in history and how this came to shape American caffeine-powdered culture. She explains that the cultural adaptability of drugs is the primary reason they have always thrived besides being prohibited. The secret lies in how people perceive it, the layman’s knowledge of the drug. For instance, marijuana is affiliated with relaxation; cannabis is known to reduce fatigue and raise spirits. In that school of thought, even the most demonized drugs are viewed in some favorable light. Caffeine came to a rise in popularity because of the aspect that people considered it. First, coffee was regarded as the drug of choice for the intellects. Anyone taking coffee was perceived to be an intellect or an artist which were and still are prestigious titles to hold. Of course, some cultures associated coffee with discipline, and an example is King Gustav II of Sweden who sentenced a murderer to consume coffee until he died. Those who preferred tea to coffee had the aspect that it was toxic and led to undesirable characteristics such as hardheadedness, promiscuity, indulgence and psychopaths. The society started developing divisions into those who take coffee versus those who prefer tea.
Use of Caffeine Synopsis
The journal begins by giving a brief history of the famous Coca-Cola beverage and explaining how it came to be. Like many great things, the traditional and much-romanticized drink had a very humble beginning. Thanks to the commercial artist called Haddon Sundblom who made adverts and marketed the brand in his red Santa Claus outfit pushing it to the stratosphere. The article goes on to explain that the reason behind drugs being very convincing as cultural acceptance and adaptability. A brief history of caffeine showed that the drug was perceived differently by different people. Whereas some associated it with intellects, some thought it invoked unacceptable behaviors that were both immoral and unethical such as promiscuity and hardheadedness.
At some point, the society was separated into tea takers and coffee takers, which was all too puzzling because that was a very superficial basis for division. The fact that there are so many foods and beverages makes it even more confusing and borderline absurd. For instance, if that were the case, then people would be classified into tuna eaters and salmon eaters or based on how they liked their eggs; scrambled or boiled. The author then clarified the behavior associated with coffee consumers to be scientific as opposed to mythological. For instance, those who claim that coffee is a male drink while tea is for women because of the myths associated with the coffee stand corrected. The woman’s body takes a considerable amount of time to clear caffeine from their system, and this is the scientific explanation why it is not advised.
In the twentieth century, though, caffeine’s use has significantly increased, and people are exploiting its ability to deprive its users of sleep. Demanding professions such as law and medicine have turned its students and workers into machines who ought to stay woke more than they should be. They have resorted to using caffeine to support this lifestyle.
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