Five Attempts to Ban Coffee Through History - Here's Why They Failed

Oh the ludicrous thought of banning coffee! To ensure our rights as American citizens, I submit to you that a 28th Amendment to the Constitution should be made immediately! (But not without our morning coffee, or the words may end up jumbled and misspelled.)

Did you know that there have been five attempts to ban coffee since it was first discovered?

I have no doubt that you’ll laugh out loud at some of the radical claims, and you’ll be gripping your sides as you hear of how one man in the 16th century saved the day.


In the early 1500s in Mecca some locals were known to pass around a bowl of coffee during funerals to help ensure that they would stay awake during the prayers.

Afraid of the blooming friendships, the enhanced thinking skills of the people, and being overthrown from his rule, the governor declared a ban on all coffee. I wonder if he secretly enjoyed a brew despite the ban on the rest of the populace.


Hear ye, hear ye, I declare freedom to drink coffee!

When coffee first arrived in Italy some people just were not happy about it. Local clergymen, fearing the energy that coffee created, went as far as to declare that coffee was of the devil. Pope Clement VIII halted all negative coffee talk by deciding to try it for himself.

Maybe it was because he was excessively tired that day, or maybe he truly was amazed by the taste, but one sip had the Pope was more energized than ever! His eyes lit up, a smile erupted. The Pope baptized the coffee thus removing Satan’s power over it. This now meant that everyone could now drink of the cup that had once been reserved for the wealthy. All across Europe, coffeehouses started to open their doors as a result of the newly baptized coffee bean.


Change in leadership sometimes means a change in laws. This was the case in the 1600s for the people of the Ottoman Empire when Murad IV claimed the throne. One of his first outrageous bans instituted was the ban on coffee.

He would walk the streets, dressed as an everyday joe, and decapitate anyone who was caught drinking coffee in public. When he was too busy with his royal affairs to scour the city for offenders, he would be satisfied to initiate one of two punishments: beatings or stuffing people in stitched leather bags and having them tossed into the sea.


If banning coffee isn’t bad enough, Sweden decided to even ban coffee cups and dishes in 1746. Police would confiscate the “paraphernalia” when offenders were caught with the items in their possession.

King Gustav III declared coffee to be a poison, and in an attempt to educate people of its dangers he proposed an experiment.

Two prisoners, who were identical twins and convicted of murder, were sentenced to life in prison-with a catch. Prisoner A had to drink three pots of coffee daily while Prisoner B was given three pots of tea. The king believed that Prisoner A would become ill quickly, thus confirming his suspicions of it being horrible for one’s health.

Both prisoners outlived the king AND the medical doctors assigned to overseeing the experiment.

Well who died first? The tea drinker-at the age of 83.


Frederick the Great of Prussia declared a ban on coffee and coffee roasting in 1777. He argued that those who drink coffee cannot be depended upon, and further stated that beer was needed for strength in battle.

The main problem? Coffee sales seemed to interfere with the country’s beer consumption-which was clearly this leader’s beverage of choice. Of course we know today the benefits of caffeine for staying alert and for alcohol, well not so much!


Based on the ridiculousness of the reasons for the bans in the past, I think it’s pretty safe to say that you won’t be thrown into prison anytime soon for sipping a freshly brewed cup of coffee.

It is your constitutional right to drink coffee, so sign up for the Burly Man Coffee Club today, practice your independence and drink boldly!

Truthfully, with Burly Man Coffee, you can do a whole lot of good by simply enjoying your next cup. Join the Burly Man Coffee Club and you’ll not only be getting great coffee delivered to your door, but you’ll also be helping those in need.

A portion of proceeds from every bag helps single moms and struggling families.

So go ahead and join the Burly Man Coffee Club today. It’s literally that easy to make a difference and enjoy great coffee!