Cover image for The world of caffeine : the science and culture of the world's most popular drug
The world of caffeine : the science and culture of the world's most popular drug
Weinberg, Bennett Alan.
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Publication Information:
New York : Routledge, 2001.
Physical Description:
xxi, 394 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm
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QP801.C24 W45 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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First published in 2001. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

Author Notes

Bennett Alan Weinberg, Esq., is a medical and science writer, and a graduate of Columbia College and New York University School of Law. He has practiced law in New York and Philadelphia and served as an Assistant Professor of Intellectual Heritage at Temple University. In 1986 he founded his own marketing communications firm
Bonnie K. Bealer is a researcher, writer, and editor. She holds degrees in psychology and anthropology from Temple University and has studied management and finance at the Wharton Business School of the University of Pennsylvania. She has professional experience designing and writing financial software systems

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Readers who, like Prufrock, measure out their lives in coffee spoons will appreciate the background on their drug of choice provided by science writers Weinberg and Bealer. The authors wander through caffeine's history, exploring coffee's Arabian origins, tea's roots in Asia, and chocolate's background in the Americas. They consider how these different forms of caffeine found their way to Europe, and how they were accepted in different countries, ultimately suggesting a nexus between this drug and reliable clocks as essential contributors to the Industrial Revolution. In examining "caffeine culture," Weinberg and Bealer discuss three nations--Japan, England, and the U.S.--where caffeinated beverages are particularly popular, and then discuss the role of these beverages as the new millennium begins. The book's last two sections shift from history and anthropology to chemistry and biology, considering the nature of caffeine and its relatives and by-products, and the effects, positive and negative, of caffeine on specific organs and on mental function. Includes photographs and cartoons, charts and graphs, and a number of useful appendixes. --Mary Carroll

Choice Review

Weinberg and Bealer provide an in-depth scholarly work that is remarkably readable and informative. The World of Caffeine will provide something for nearly everyone. The historian will be pleased with the detailed descriptions of the introduction of caffeine into countries across the globe and its gradual ascension to prominence. The social scientist will be intrigued with the presentation of the adoption of caffeine as crucial to the industrial revolution. The physiologist will be intrigued by the complexity of caffeine metabolism, while the health provider will be perplexed by the contradictory results of research regarding the health impacts of this ubiquitous drug. For a scholarly work, the text is unusually readable; scholars will be pleased with the extensive referencing. Sections covering the biochemistry and physiology of caffeine do require a reader with a solid scientific background if in-depth understanding is the goal; however, even the casual reader will be able to understand the statements that summarize the results of research on health impacts. Though illustrations are sparse, they are often illuminating, highlighting important points. Overall, an interesting, although sometimes ponderous read. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. T. D. DeLapp University of Alaska, Anchorage

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Overview: Caffeine Encountersp. xi
Prologue: The Discovery of Caffeinep. xvii
Part I Caffeine in historyp. 1
1. Coffee: Arabian Originsp. 3
2. Tea: Asian Originsp. 27
3. Cacao: American Originsp. 41
Part II Europe wakes up to caffeinep. 51
4. Monks and Men-at-Arms: Europe's First Caffeine Connectionsp. 53
5. The Caffeine Trade Supplants the Spice Trade: Tea and Coffee Come to the Westp. 61
6. The Late Adopters: Germany, Russia, and Sweden Join Inp. 83
7. Judgments of History: Medical Men Debate Caffeinep. 95
8. Postscript: Why Did Caffeine Come When It Came?p. 125
Part III The culture of caffeinep. 129
9. Islands of Caffeine (1): Japan: The Tradition of Tea, the Novelty of Coffeep. 133
10. Islands of Caffeine (2): England: Caffeine and Empirep. 147
11. The Endless Simmer: America and the Twentieth Century Do Caffeinep. 181
12. Caffeine Culture and Le Fin de Millenairep. 197
Part IV The Natural history of caffeinep. 213
13. Caffeine in the Laboratoryp. 215
14. Caffeine and the Plant Kingdom: "My Vegetable Love ..."p. 235
Part V Caffeine and healthp. 267
15. Caffeine and the Body: Health Effects, Reproductive Issues, and Fitnessp. 269
16. Thinking Over Caffeine: Cognition, Learning, and Emotional Well-Beingp. 291
17. Caffeine Dependence, Intoxication, and Toxicityp. 303
Epilogue: A Toast to the Futurep. 317
Appendix A The London Coffeehouse during the Commonwealth and Restorationp. 321
Appendix B Supplementary Tablesp. 327
Appendix C Additional Studies of Caffeine's Physical Effectsp. 332
Appendix D Methodological Pitfallsp. 342
Notesp. 345
Referencesp. 373
Indexp. 381