International Coffee Day - Legal Facts You Didn’t Know About Coffee

International Coffee Day - Legal Facts You Didn’t Know About Coffee

Happy International Coffee Day! In honour of the first ever day of coffee celebration here at Unlock the Law we thought we would treat you to some facts about the history of coffee - especially how it has interacted with the law.


  1. Coffee is deemed to be such an important part of daily life in Italy that espresso is regulated by the Italian government. The government ensures that the price of espresso is in a caffe is regulated - however, these prices apply to items consumed while at the bar and places may charge more for table service.
  2. Coffee has, through ages and cultures been highly controversial. In fact, Frederick the Great of Prussia ruler in the 1700's went to the trouble of creating a secret police unit known as Kaffee Schnufflers ("coffee sniffers") tasked with tracking down and punishing anyone consuming coffee.
  3. In the 1700's not only coffee but even coffee making apparatus was banned in Sweden. The country now famous for 'latte papas' and Fika.
  4. Coffee was also dubbed the "drink of Satan" for centuries Christendom as a result of it's its Islamic roots. However, after years of controversy surrounding whether Catholics would be permitted to drink coffee, in the 1600's Pope Clement VIII declared that they could - and never looked back.
  5. In Turkey, coffee had the opposite effect. Coffee was held in such high regard that in the late 15th century, one of the very few legal grounds for a woman to divorce her husband was if he did not provide her with enough coffee.
  6. Coffee is a psychoactive substance meaning is can cause hallucinations. There was concern that the recent Psychoactive Substances Bill banning the creation or distribution of any new legal high would or could apply to coffee. However, exceptions are to be made for certain substances.
  7. Coffee can also be lethal, however you would need to consume 100 cups in 4 hours hours.
  8. Finally coffee has been a staple for many great law makers throughout the ages. One of the greatest consumers of the substance was the former American president Teddy Roosevelt who consumed at least a gallon of coffee every day. DISCLAIMER: We do not recommend you do this. 

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