1. The author’s main thesis in setting the book is that drinks have shaped human history ever since early humans were forced to live by rivers, springs and lakes to ensure an adequate supply of freshwater. 2. These fluids like water are vital to us because we would not be able to live more than a few days without some fluids in our body. “Beer in Mesopotamia and Egypt” (Chapter 1 and 2)
1. The discovery of beer is linked to the growth of the first civilizations because the discovery of beer was central to social, religious, and economic life, bringing everyone together which was the setup of most civilizations at that time. 2. The history of beer and its discovery tells us that the people of the earlier civilizations were very curious and adventurous, even smart. 3. At the time, around 9000 BCE to 4000 BCE there were no written records, but information was gathered by the inference of later records of the way beer was used by the First Literate Civilizations, The Sumerians of Mesopotamia and The Ancient Egyptians. 4. Beer’s main function was as a social drink. Although, most people seen it as a gift from the Gods so they present it to the Gods as like a ritual offering to the Gods. 5. According to Standage, beer has civilized man by bringing them to live in large cities, and to get introduced into trade/barter mainly with grain, as it becomes edible money. “Wine in Greece and Rome” (Chapter 3 and 4)
1. Beer’s main function was as a social drink bringing people together, but wine’s main use was religious because its scarcity and high price made it worthy for the consumption of the Gods. 2. The Greeks used wine for drinking parties and/or symposia, as civilized competitions. 3. Wine became a form of a status symbol in Greece because of how it was only consumed at private drinking parties and at symposia’s making it a status of gathering people together and making new friendships in its matter as a social sophisticated drink. 4. Water was usually mixed with the wine before consumptions, making it more sophisticated and less alcoholic, which demonstrated their caution to the ways wine without water would make them act, “mad” and go crazy, also promoting their thinking skills as fast and with efficiency. 5. Unlike the Greeks, the Romans wine became a symbol of social differentiation, used to mark the wealth and status of the person drinking. 6. Around 170 CE a man named Gaten, a doctor, was very interested in wine and was lead to find out that wine could also be used for medical purposes like cut wounds. In Christianity wine is consumed by the followers to represent Jesus blood, which he shed on the cross. In mainly all of the empires wine was consumed as a sophisticated drink bringing people together. “Spirits in the Colonial Period” (Chapter 5 and 6)
1. The Origin of distilled spirits is Cordoba in Western Europe. 2. Spirits became economic goods, and dominate around the time when European explorers were colonies and empires. 3. African slave traders that supplied the Europeans with slaves received goods and products like textiles, copper, and alcoholic beverages/spirits. 4. Scurvy, a wasting disease caused by the lack of vitamin C, was the main cause of death at sea which could only be alleviated/relieved by grog, spirit/rum mixed with water. 5. After Europeans settled in New England or Colonial America, they realized life was gonna be harder than they expected, so securing their supply of alcohol was important. How much alcohol they had or didn’t have determined where they would be living for the time being, and determined what areas they would be moving to. 6. Rum’s main ingredient, molasses a type of sugar, was being sold to New Englander’s from the French instead of their own people in Britain, so the people of Britain made a law called, the Molasses Act in 1733, that they were to only buy molasses from them. Although, the Britain wasn’t able to produce enough for them, so they started smuggling in molasses from the French, which played a big role in the build up to the American Revolution. “Coffee in the Age of Reason” (Chapter 7 and 8)
1. Coffee originated in Europe by the expansion of “Age of Exploration” opening new ideas with criticism, tolerance, and freedom of thought. 2. Coffeehouses were places where respectable people could afford to be seen; they were also placed to go to for gossip, rumor, satirical discussion and political debates. Coffeehouses played a big role in bringing people with different status’ and social class together. 3. At a coffeehouse you could buy a “dish” of coffee and read the latest pamphlet or newsletter, and score business deals, and take part in political discussions. Coffeehouses were a very influential place for scientist, businessmen, writers, and politicians in information exchange Coffee were known to make people more alert and awake because of the caffeine, which is why they started serving coffee between academic conferences and symposia. 4. Unlike beer, and wine, coffee has its own store where people go to drink coffee, get or exchange information, get gossip, rumors, and even discuss political matters. 5. The Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment brought up better ways for people to learn, rational thinking, the “Encyclopedie” and new ways of thinking. “Tea and British Empire” (Chapter 9 and 10)
1. In Asia, tea became a mainstream drink around 1191 when the knowledge about the growing, preparation, picking, and drinking was brought out, but tea in Europe did not become mainstream until the 1630’s-1650’s. 2. The consumption of tea in China and Japan were mainly for medical reasons, and the cure of diseases and sicknesses the leaves used in the tea carried, Japan also did tea ceremonies showing how the tea was prepared and even consumed, while the Europeans consumed tea with sugar and milk added around the 1660’s. 3. I believe tea didn’t reach extreme heights as fast as coffee did because tea in Europe was more for drinking coffee together and relaxing, but coffee was more of a “wake you up” kind of drink after a night of drinking spirits, coffee would wake you up, so you could become more alert. 4. Tea transformed the English society by bringing rich and poor together, because it wasn’t much of an expense, tea also separated gender, in which the men would have tea in one part of the house while the women had tea in another part. In the English society, one main ritual that followed drinking tea was a tea party, where the males and the females would separate, drink tea, talk, and socialize with one another. 5. Tea in Britain had natural antibacterial properties which reduced waterborne diseases, which was proven around the nineteenth century to have most likely improved the nation’s health, and decreased infant mortality.
Which all took place around the Industrial Revolution. 6. The East India Company had a lot of political power, they even ruled over more people than the government, while supplying Britain with tea. 7. Tea Imports from the East India Company stopped which lowered tea prices in Britain, but gradually curtailed because of their self-enriched behavior, although they were still able to stand their ground through the involvement in trading opium, mainly to China, where opium soon got banned in light of the fact that it was a highly addictive, narcotic drug, but the British continued trading opium, hence leading up to the Opium War. 8. British and India Established the East India Company so they could trade tea for European goods, between them and potential clients, but the British are more powerful than India, with their Navel, tea plantations, and a strong economy, the British is practically running everything. “Coca-Cola and the Rise of America” (Chapter 11 and 12)
1. Coca-Cola started in America, but its ancestors begun their life in 1767 in a brewery in Leeds by an English scientist and clergyman named Joseph Priestly. 2. Coca-Cola was used at sea against Scurvy, containing carbon dioxide, soda water, and fixed air. 3. During World War II, the American armed forces were sent out into the world war with Coca-Cola with them, so it was supplied to them for 5centst each whenever they need it, during the war they even devised Coca-Cola advertisements promoted by the armed forces themselves, by their hard work. 4. Communist thought Coca-Cola would pollute the European countries with American Culture, and that the Coca-Cola had adverse health effects. 5. “Globalization in a bottle” was meant to show how Coca-Cola, was sold all over the world, and loved by almost everyone. Epilogue—“Back to the Source”
1. I agree with Standage’s argument, after reading this book I have really seen how drinks have shaped the world through almost anything. 2. I don’t think water would be the most influential in shaping global situations, because water have been in the world since life has started, but people still figured out different ways in shaping the world with different drinks and beverages, so if they have done it ones we all can do it again.
Courtney from Study Moose
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