Listening Diary (1) – The invisible addiction: is it time to give up caffeine?

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Listening time (28 mins) – The invisible addiction: is it time to give up caffeine?

Typically, the coffee house or better café is a melting point of writing and writers. It’s a place that many writers take solace in honing their crafts and getting their manuscripts completed. However, there are instances where writers do not go to a café to hone their writing skills. Instead, many still make the process of brewing a cup of tea or a mug of coffee as part of their writer’s routines. Hence, the unique relationship between writing, writers, coffee, and café. In this podcast review, I explore the history of caffeine in the world through the eyes of the British.

Coffee is the common man’s gold, and like gold it brings to every person the feeling of luxury and nobility. – Sheikh ‘Abd-al-Kadr

This is from The UK Guardian Audio Long Read series, and it is an exciting piece. I was heavily invested in the habit of coffee drinking for years. Eventually, I dropped it about two years ago, and now I just concentrate on tea drinking. So I find this podcast – The invisible addiction: is it time to give up caffeine? – interesting and culturally enlightening regarding the relationship between the British public and coffee/tea drinking.

The first coffee house in Europe appeared in Venice in 1645, after coffee came to Europe through trade with North Africa and Egypt.

The podcast takes the listener down the historical root of coffee and its links to Muslims and how it eventually became an obsession of the British. The introduction of tea to the English working-class became a way for the British to try and gain some economic advantage from the caffeine business.

Coffee makes us severe, and grave, and philosophical. – Jonathan Swift

Part of the podcast focused on the addictive nature of caffeine and its impact on people’s productivity. Overall, I think the episode is worth listening to if you’re the type of person that enjoys historical non-fiction on everyday things that have come to shape the world.

To complement listening to this podcast episode on caffeine, I suggest you read Home is a Mug of Coffee and Home is a Cup of Tea by Candace Rose Rardon. These are two fantastically written and well-illustrated articles published by

*All the quotes in this post are from 1001 Inventions: Muslim Heritage in Our World, published by Foundation for Science Technology and Civilisation.

You can check out “On the Coffee Trail” in the book for more interesting facts on the relationship between coffee and Muslims.

About the Listening Diary series

Most mornings, after observing Fajr salat and reading the Qur’an, I go on a road jogging in my neighbourhood. While doing this early morning run, I usually listen to a podcast. I’ve always been a radio listener from childhood; I inherited the habit of seeing my father listen to the BBC. My childhood love for radio listening has, over the years, metamorphosed into podcast listening as podcasts became more ubiquitous in our everyday lives. To share my podcast listening pleasures with you, I have decided to keep a public diary of my listening pleasures; hence, this blog series is titled – Listening Diary. The podcasts are an eclectic collection of different genres. Still, they all have in common that they usually centre on productivity.

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