Grand Vizier Kuprill of Constantinople, who outlawed the coffeehouses in his kingdom. According to the vizier's decree, the first-violation penalty for frequenting the houses was a cudgeling; for the second, the offender was sewn into a leather bag and dumped into the Bosporus.
Pope Clement VII, who quelled objections to coffee by lifting a cup to the papal lips. He heartily approved of the drink, overruling the Christian zealots who called it "an invention of Satan." We shall fool Satan," he retorted, "by baptizing (coffee) and making it a truly Christian beverage."
The Women of England. In 1674, they published a manifesto called "The Women's Petition Against Coffee," in which they alleged that the beverage rendered their "husbands unfruitful as the deserts where that unhappy berry is said to be bought." A condition which -- they further alleged -- posed a threat to the future of the human race (if not to marital bliss).
Sir Henry Blount, who is known as the father of the English coffeehouse. (History fails to reveal whether Sir Henry was able to father anything else.)
Charles II of England, who dubbed English coffeehouses "seminaries of sedition."
Johann Sebastian Bach, who composed "The Coffee Cantata" in 1732. Bach wrote the piece as a protest against Germany's efforts to persuade doctors to advise their patients against coffee-drinking; the government -- like the good British wife -- believed that the substance caused sterility.
Alter Rumsey, a 17th-century wag who devised something called the "Copy Electuary":
"Take equal quantity of butter and Sallet oyle, melt them well together, but not boyle them: Then stirre them well that they may incorporate together: Then melt them with three times as much Honey and stirre it well together. Then add thereunto powder of Turkish Cophie, to make it a thick Electuary."
Rumsey advised that, when imbibed, the solution was a fast-acting natural laxative.
Voltaire -- who downed 40 cups of coffee-and-chocolate every day. "Coffee is a poison, certainly, but a low poison," he said. "For I've been drinking it these 84 years."
Legendary gourmand Brillat-Savarin, who wrote, "Coffee is a far more powerful liquor than is commonly believed . . . It is the duty of all papas and mamas to forbid their children coffee, unless they wish to have little dried-up machines, stunted and old at the age of 20."
Captain Gabriel de Clieu -- who, in the early 18th century, flinched one of Louis XIV'S seedlings from the Jardin de plantes in Paris and managed to transport it to Martinique (after conquering pirates, bad weather and sabotage attempts). He planted the budding coffee plant on his plantation there, thus inqugurating the New World's coffee industry.
Miz Lillian Carter, who in 1977 contributed a total of $500 to the Plains Police Department's coffee kitty.