No Food or Drink in the Library! An Exploration of Coffee and Tea in ARB

By Lauren Fink, ARB Intern, 2011-2012

Choice Songs Title PageBoy RowingWith three Starbucks Cafés, Rohs St. Café, Taza Coffee House, and Sitwell’s Coffee House all within walking distance of campus, readers should have no problem staying awake while reading these fascinating coffee and tea-related titles in the Archives & Rare Books Library (but be sure to finish your beverage before entering!):

Butterworth, Hezekiah.  Lost in Nicaragua; or, Among coffee farms and banana lands, in the countries of the great canal.  Illustrated by Henry Sandham.  Boston: W. A. Wilde & Company, 1898.

ARB: F1524 .B98 1898

Fortune, Robert.  A Journey to the Tea Countries of China: including Sung-Lo and the Bohea Hills, With a Short Notice of the East India Company’s Tea Plantations in the Himalaya Mountains.  London: J. Murray, 1852.

ARB: DS709 .F75

Miller, James.  The coffee-house. A dramatick piece. As it is performed at the Theatre-Royal in Drury-Lane. By His Majesty’s servants.  London:  J. Watts, 1737.

ARB: PR3549.M6 C6 1737

No Author.  The Norwood Gipsey : or, Complete Art of Fortune Telling, by Cards, Moles, Palmistry, Physiognomy, Hair, Tea and Coffee Cups, & C; with the Evil and Perilous Days of Every Month in the Year; to which is added Charms & Ceremonies for Knowing Future Events.  London: Printed and sold by Dean and Munday, 18–.

ARB: BF1861 .N6 18–

Pauli, Simon.  A treatise on Tobacco, Tea, Coffee, and Chocolate.  Translated by Dr. James.  London: T. Osborne, 1746.

ARB: QP981.T6 P38y

Ramsay, Allen.  The Tea-Table Miscellany: A Collection of Choice Songs, Scots & English.  Glasgow: Robert Forrester, 1876.

ARB:  PR1187 .R2 1876 v. 1-4

How will using caffeine to stay awake and read affect your subsequent ability to sleep?

The accumulation of adenosine in the brain is a crucial factor in the decreased arousal necessary for sleep.  Adenosine inhibits the basal forebrain cells which are responsible for arousal.  Because caffeine is an adenosine receptor antagonist, meaning it blocks adenosine receptors, it is commonly used to stay awake.

Unfortunately, caffeine consumption to deter the effects of sleep deprivation can lead to more trouble falling asleep at night and hence more sleep deprivation, resulting in a vicious cycle of caffeine addiction.  However, in most cases, moderate doses of caffeine are okay in healthy adults.  According to the Mayo Clinic, 200 to 300 milligrams, or about two to four cups of brewed coffee a day, are not harmful.  Though, if side effects like jitteriness, insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, irritability, upset stomach, fast heartbeat, or muscle tremors occur, stop consuming caffeine and consider alternatives like decaffeinated coffee or herbal tea.  Also, certain medications like Ciprofloxacin, Theophylline, or supplements like Echinacea, can interfere with the breakdown of caffeine in your body or increase its concentration in your blood.