How Turks and Persians Drank Coffee: A Little-known Document of Social History by Father J. T. Krusiński

in Turkish Historical Review
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Polish orientalist, Jesuit Jan Tadeusz Krusiński is the author of some of the most important chronicles that were the source material for the study of the history of late Safavid Iran. In addition to these works, translated into several languages, Krusiński also wrote a less known text on methods of consuming coffee in the Ottoman empire and Persia. This article contains a presentation and translation of the text, as well as a draft of the author’s biography.




Hattox, Ralph S., Coffee and Coffeehouses: The Origins of a Social Beverage in the Medieval Near East (Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1985), pp. 11–26; İbrahim Peçevi, Tarih-i Peçevi, vol. i (Istanbul, 1281–1283), p. 363; Matthee, Rudi, “Coffee in Safavid Iran”, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, 37/1 (1994), p. 5; Matthee, Rudi, “Exotic substances: the introduction and global spread of tobacco, coffee, cocoa, tea, and distilled liquor, sixteenth to eighteenth centuries”, Drugs and Narcotics in History, ed. Roy Porter and Mikuláš Teich (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), p. 27; Drenjaković, N., Београд [Belgrade] (Belgrade: Turistički savez Beograda, 1967), p. 46; Fotić, Aleksandar, “The introduction of coffee and tobacco to the mid-west Balkans”, Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, 64/ 1 (2011), p. 90, Kreševljaković, Hamdija, Esnafi i obrti u starom Sarajevu [Guilds and crafts in Old Sarajevo] (Sarajevo: Narodna Prosvjeta, 1958), p. 207; Spaho, Fehim, “Prve kafane su otvorene u našim krajevima” [The first coffee shops were opened in our region], Novi Behar, 5 (1931), pp. 41–2.


Rycaut, Sir Paul, The History of the Present State of the Ottoman Empire (London: C. Brome, 1686). ‘Dr Montpellier’ was most probably Daniel Duncan who practiced in the city of Montpellier. For his treatise, Duncan, Avis salutaire a tout le monde contre l’abus des choses chaudes.


Rambaldi, Ambrosia arabica, pp. 19–23; Contrary to Krusiński, this author dedicated some attention to the matter of selection of the proper coffee beans, mentioning also vessels used to prepare it. Unlike our Jesuit, Rambaldi could not decide on the dosage of this beverage which would be the best to consume, while citing the opinions of earlier authorities on this subject. See Rambaldi, Ambrosia arabica, pp. 19–21. See also Dufour, Traitez nouveaux et curieux du Café, du Thé et du Chocolate, p. 46; Anon, Virtu del café, bevanda introdotta nuovamente nell’ Italia, p. 22.


Rambaldi, Ambrosia arabica, pp. 16, 50, 52; Matthee, “Coffee in Safavid Iran”, pp. 17–18; Shefer-Mossensohn, Miri, Ottoman Medicine: Healing and Medical Institutions, 1500–1700 (Albany: suny Press, 2010), p. 87.


Abrahamowicz, Zygmunt, “Jerzy Franciszek Kulczycki”, in Polski Słownik Biograficzny (Wrocław; Zakład Narodowy im. Ossolińskich) 16 (1970), p. 128; See also Anon, Virtu del café, bevanda introdotta nuovamente nell’ Italia, p. 21; Rambaldi, Ambrosia arabica, p. 52.


Chamberlayne, The Natural History of Coffee, Thee, Chocolate, Tobacco, p. 5; Rambaldi, Ambrosia arabica, p. 68.


 See Hattox, Coffee and Coffeehouses, p. 67.


Hattox, Coffee and Coffeehouses, p. 83. According to other authorities, in Ottoman lands, coffee was sweetened. See Lewis, Geoffrey L. (transl.), The Balance of Truth by Kâtip Çelebi (London: George Allen, 1957), p. 62, Anon, A Broadside against Coffee, p. 22.


Matthee, “Exotic substances”, p. 160.


Dufour, Traitez nouveaux et curieux du Café, du Thé et du Chocolate, pp. 33–35; Galland, De l’origine et du progrès du café, p. 40.


 See Rambaldi, Ambrosia arabica, p. 24.


Rycaut, The History of the Present State of the Ottoman Empire, p. 292.


Lewis, The Balance of Truth by Kâtip Çelebi, p. 62.


Galland, De l’origine et du progrès du café, p. 47.


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