It's thumbs up today, but the news on coffee has not always been positive. Take a look at the arguments for and against coffee through the centuries.
1500s headline: Coffee makes you frisky – Legend has it that coffee was discovered by Kaldi, an Ethiopian goatherd, after he caught his suddenly frisky goats eating glossy green leaves and red berries and then tried it for himself.
1600s headline: Coffee cures alcoholism – As the popularity of coffee grew and spread, the medical community began to extol its benefits. It was especially popular in England as a cure for alcoholism, one of the biggest medical problems of the time.
1600s headline: Coffee cures all? – This 1652 ad by London coffee shop owner Pasqua Rosée popularized coffee's healthy status, claiming that coffee could aid digestion, prevent and cure gout and scurvy, help coughs, headaches and stomachaches, and even prevent miscarriages.
1700s headline: Coffee helps you work longer – By 1730, tea had replaced coffee in London as the daily drink of choice. That preference continued in the colonies until 1773, when the famous Boston Tea Party made it unpatriotic to drink tea. Coffee houses popped up everywhere, and the marvelous stimulant qualities of the brew were said to contribute to the ability of the colonists to work longer hours.
1800s headline: Coffee shortage – In the mid-1800s, America was at war with itself, and one side effect was that coffee supplies ran short. Enter toasted grain-based beverage substitutes such as Kellogg's "Caramel Coffee" and C.W. Post's "Postum" (still manufactured), which advertised with anti-coffee tirades to boost sales.
1927 headline: Coffee will give you bad grades, kids – In a 1927 Science magazine article, 80,000 elementary and junior high kids were asked about their coffee drinking habits. Researchers found the "startling" fact that most of them drank more than a cup of coffee a day, which was compared with scholarship with mostly negative results.