Coffee Talk: Weekend Poll

By: wheatmeister
March 9, 2013
For some people, coffee is a religion.  For others it’s a right.  Most Mormons have heard this joke:  A priest and a Mormon bishop were sitting next to each other on a plane.  The priest asked the Mormon bishop if he had ever in a moment of weakness tasted coffee.  The Mormon bishop confessed that yes he had, and he agreed it was very nice.  Then the Mormon bishop asked the celibate Priest if he had ever in a moment of weakness had sex will a woman.  The Priest said he had indeed.  The Mormon bishop said:  ”Beats the hell out of coffee, doesn’t it?”

What foods do you consider OK for those following the Word of Wisdom?

  • Hot cocoa (94%, 150 Votes)
  • Colas (93%, 149 Votes)
  • Mountain Dew (91%, 146 Votes)
  • Coffee cake (89%, 143 Votes)
  • Coffee flavored candies (76%, 121 Votes)
  • Coffee ice cream (67%, 107 Votes)
  • Tiramisu (61%, 97 Votes)
  • Decaffeinated coffee (28%, 44 Votes)
  • Iced coffee (18%, 28 Votes)
  • None of these are OK. (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 160

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Sleep is a symptom of caffeine deprivation.

~Author Unknown
I never drink coffee at lunch. I find it keeps me awake for the afternoon.
~Ronald Reagan

Decaffeinated coffee is kind of like kissing your sister.

~Bob Irwin

Discuss.

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31 Responses to Coffee Talk: Weekend Poll

  1. Syphax on March 9, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    I eat tiramisu for medical reasons. I’m pretty surprised how low it is on this list.

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  2. Toni on March 9, 2013 at 10:38 PM

    I have no idea what tiramisu is.

    Also, “coffee cake” doesn’t necessarily have to have coffee in it. It is cake that was made to be eaten while one drinks coffee.

    I voted according to the way I understand the current version of the word of wisdom to be interpreted, not according to what D&C 89 says, because it does not mention coffee at all.

    According to D&C 89, hot cocoa would be a “no no” – as would decaf if it was hot, but everything else on the list (including the one I’ve never heard of, if it was not hot) would be okay.

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  3. Hawkgrrrl on March 9, 2013 at 10:49 PM

    Toni is correct that coffee cake (aka crumb cake) is so named because it is often served with coffee, but not because it contains coffee. And yet, I have absolutely met Mormons who wouldn’t touch it for the name’s sake.

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  4. anon on March 9, 2013 at 11:00 PM

    Syphax, but Tiramisu is a double no-no: coffee and wine (or brandy depending on who prepares it). Regardless I am only interested in desserts containing chocolate.

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  5. Mike S on March 10, 2013 at 3:21 AM

    Tiramisu is delicious. Mmmmm. And I love coffee, but don’t drink it out of obedience to the Word of Wisdom (although it is probably better for me than Diet Coke).

    I think we get too hung up on the Word of Wisdom and over-interpreting it. For those who haven’t read it, I highly recommend “David O McKay And The Rise of Modern Mormonism” by Prince and Wright. A quote from there:

    At a reception McKay attended, the hostess served rum cake. “All the guests hesitated, watching to see wat McKay would do. He smacked his lips and began to eat.” When one guest expostulated, “‘But President McKay, don’t you know that is rum cake?’ McKay smiled and reminded the guest that the Word of Wisdom forbade drinking alcohol, not eating it.”

    During intermission at a theatrical presentation, his host offered to get refreshments: “His hearing wasn’t very good, and I got right down in front of him and I said, ‘President McKay, what would you like to drink? All of our cups say Coca Cola on them because of our arrangement with Coca Cola Bottling, but we have root beer and we have orange and we have Seven-Up. What would you like to drink?’ And he said, ‘I don’t care what it says on the cup, as long as there is a Coke in the cup.’” McKay’s point was simple and refreshing: Don’t get hung up on the letter of the law to the point where you squeeze all of the spirit out of life.

    I like President McKay. My attitude towards this poll is a lot like his.

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  6. kramer on March 10, 2013 at 4:43 AM

    I know a guy who’s addicted to brake fluid. He says he can stop any time.

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  7. Andrew S on March 10, 2013 at 7:50 AM

    re 6

    I see what you did there, kramer…

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  8. hawkgrrrl on March 10, 2013 at 8:45 AM

    My daughter threatened to tell the bishop I eat coffee ice cream. Then, she stayed at a friend’s house and drank iced tea all week (she thought it was just Capri-Sonne coolers). Shoe’s on the other foot now.

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  9. Andrew S on March 10, 2013 at 8:59 AM

    you can snitch on each other. the family that betrays each other, stays with each other.

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  10. alice on March 10, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    Ten percent of people wouldn’t eat coffeecake simply because “coffee” is in the name even if it’s not in the ingredients? I have dozens of recipes for coffeecakes and I’ve only ever seen one that had any coffee in it. If there ever is any coffee flavoring there will be “mocha” somewhere in the name and even then it’s probably no more than the trace of alcohol that’s in anything baked with vanilla.

    This makes about as much sense as refusing to eat in a place called a “cafe”. And it’s the kind of uptight stuff that can make you crazy.

    PS What’s the medical reason for eating tiramisu? Cholesterol deficiency?

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  11. Will on March 10, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    Mike hit it right on the head. It is about obedience.

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  12. FireTag on March 10, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    We ARE a peculiar people. It is about obedience, at least in the sense of group identity,

    In the RLDS/CofChrist tradition, a generation ago, we were very clear about the cultural boundaries, tied them inconsistently to the WoW, and accepted that was how members of Christ’s people would behave.

    We didn’t consume the slightest alcohol or tobacco. We didn’t gamble (and my grandfather once punished me for playing cards in the house, even though no stakes were involved).

    We DID even serve coffee and tea at church functions, asserting that it was temperature, not caffeine that was explicit to the WoW. But though I hate hot drinks and avoided coffee for taste reasons alone, the tea was iced, and any ice cream was served cold enough to produce freeze brain. And church suppers were never “sparingly” endowed with meat or any other form of calories unless there were special requests to fast.

    Today, social pressure within the church is closer to the “no intoxication” standard, and I wouldn’t think of teaching anyone to do more than try to be healthy and good stewards over food.

    But my personal habits of avoiding certain things because of those early teachings are wired in now, and I have no intent of changing them unless a medical professional tells me I have to.

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  13. Left Field on March 10, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    Seriously? Some people won’t eat coffee cake because of the *name*? How about root beer? Fruit cocktail? Beer nuts? Smoked meat? Can we have a coffee table and still obey the word of wisdom? Can we read a coffee table book? Drink milk from a coffee mug? Join the Tea Party? Name your daughter Brandy? Drive a Dodge Spirit? Cheer for the Milwaukee Brewers? Play a pipe organ? Use Scotch tape? Attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign? Wear clothes made using a cotton gin? The potential word of wisdom dangers are endless.

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  14. Benjamin on March 10, 2013 at 4:32 PM

    I know someone who calls his coffee table a “hot chocolate table,” and I think he’s only half-joking about it.

    I know someone else who sang a karaoke version of “Red, Red Wine” with his LDS friends. He changed the lyrics to “White, White Milk.” Again, this was a person who was only half-kidding. The idea seemed to be, “Ha ha, this is funny AND it makes the song more wholesome!”

    I need a drink just thinking about it.

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  15. Mormon Heretic on March 10, 2013 at 5:16 PM

    Mike, great quote, but there’s more interesting stuff from the McKay biography. Here’s what I wrote before:

    But that’s not all. Prince describes an interesting story concerning rum cake that President McKay ate. Also from page 23,

    At a reception McKay attended, the hostess served rum cake. All the guests hesitated, watching to see what McKay would do. He smacked his lips and began to eat. When one guest expostulated, “But President McKay, don’t you know that is rum cake?” McKay smiled and reminded the guest that the Word of Wisdom forbade drinking alcohol, not eating it.86

    Some people have tried to add chocolate as being prohibited by the Word of Wisdom. President McKay chided an apostle about this stance. From page 23,

    he gently chided Apostle John A. Widtsoe, whose wife advocated such a rigid interpretation of the Word of Wisdom as to proscribe chocolate because of the stimulants it contained, saying “John, do you want to take all the joy of of life?”85

    If Pres McKay can eat alcohol, what’s wrong with eating coffee?

    I should also point out that it was Hyrum Smith that said coffee and tea were what the Lord meant when he referred to “hot drinks”. See http://mormonheretic.org/2012/05/20/word-of-wisdom-in-first-decade/

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  16. Left Field on March 10, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    “…what’s wrong with eating coffee?”

    In my case, what’s wrong with eating coffee is that it still tastes like coffee.

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  17. Jace on March 10, 2013 at 8:55 PM

    Studies have shown coffee is bad for you because it restricts blood flow to the brain. When I learned that, I felt a bit vindicated for not drinking coffee.

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  18. Douglas on March 11, 2013 at 1:06 AM

    #17 – Sources, please. This is annoying when some non-referenced “studies” (who did it, bona fides, control groups, etc. etc. etc.). Gee, I’d like that standard of proof in my job to convince state and federal regulators that Government property to be transferred to the private sector has been either investigated and/or undergone Environmental cleanup, and replaced infrastructure like Sanitary Sewage systems are in full compliance just because I’m a Registered Engineer and that’s the last word. Oh, that it were THAT easy!
    I have seen numerous citations of evidences of both good and ill effects of coffee. The relative harmful effects upon human health of coffee and tea, when compared to alcoholic beverages and tobacco products, seem so trivial in comparison that from a health preservation standpoint I find it hard to fathom the imperative. Obedience, sure, I can go along with that. Where it got silly, IMO, is the conclusion that it was caffeine that the Lord proscribed. Well, since the chemical was identified in 1821, it seems that certainly NLT Brigham Young’s time there was ample opportunity to state thus. However, the latest word was that the Church took no OFFICIAL position on caffeinated products, but advised not to consume any products that tended to become addictive. So, it seems that it’s simply “coffee and tea” (no distinction as to decaf versions, BTW), and other caffeinated products (chocolate, energy drinks, colas, Dew, etc.), it’s your discretion.\
    Now me, nuthin’ like the smell of diesel in the morning…smells like…transportation…285 German turbocharged ponies, rarin’ to go…

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  19. Hedgehog on March 11, 2013 at 6:24 AM

    Well, where I am, coffee cake is coffee-flavoured cake, just as chocolate cake is cake with chocolate in it.

    As a child I remember being distinctly nervous about rich tea biscuits – very plain and slightly sweet round crisp biscuits designed to eat with your hot drink (that’s english biscuits – which are crisp, not like cookies, and nothing like scones). Also tea cakes – a doughy spiced sweet fruit bun, which are yummy, and so I discovered later, apparently do contain tea… some brands anyway…

    I like 1 Corinthians 10:27 on this subject.

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  20. NewlyHousewife on March 11, 2013 at 11:33 AM

    #14 Benjamin, In my old Missouri ward the coffee table was the “magazine table.” People were dead serious about it.

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  21. Mike S on March 11, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    #17: Jace Studies have shown coffee is bad for you because it restricts blood flow to the brain

    Actually, caffeine restricts blood flow to the brain – but this isn’t always bad.

    This is why Excedrin is sold as a headache remedy. Each tablet has a bit of tylenol and aspirin, but 65 mg of caffeine. Taking 2 Excedrin has 130 mg of caffeine, or around as much as 4 cans of Coca-Cola Classic. Constricting the vessels in the brain actually HELPS with headaches much of the time.

    So, to your quote – yes, coffee has caffeine and yes, caffeine restricts blood flow to the brain, but I’m not sure why you feel “vindicated”.

    - Caffeine (in moderate doses) also has been proven to improve alertness and mental acuity.
    - A May 2012 study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that drinking 2-3 cups of coffee / day made someone 10-15% LESS LIKELY to die of any reason over the course of a 13 year study (although this only showed association and not causation).
    - A 1993 study in women showed that drinking 2+ cups of coffee per day reduced mortality in women (and even if it was decaffeinated).
    - Coffee reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
    - A 2012 large pooled study showed that drinking coffee reduced the risk of heart failure.

    So, feeling “vindicated” because coffee “restricts blood flow to the brain” makes no sense at all. I’m certain that coffee (and tea for what it’s worth) are MUCH healthier than all the Diet Coke and other sodas that we drink.

    Ultimately, the Word of Wisdom isn’t primarily about health – it’s primarily about obedience. Otherwise, we’d actually follow it’s recommendations to eat meat sparingly; we’d drink the same glass of red wine that Christ and Joseph Smith drank; etc.

    But these are the current rules, so we follow them.

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  22. LDS Anarchist on March 11, 2013 at 3:48 PM

    What foods do you consider OK for those following the Word of Wisdom?

    Considering that coffee is now allowed in the LDS church, I’d say that we can eat just about anything we want and still remain obedient to the WoW.

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  23. N. on March 11, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    I was told that these “pot brownies” don’t contain any pot; it’s just in the name. So, um, yeah, I’m going to eat them until I stop feeling the munchies.

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  24. Douglas on March 11, 2013 at 6:15 PM

    #21 – THANK YOU (3x). I don’t mind obeying for it’s own sake, but to act as if the Devil throws Maxwell House, Taster’s Choice, and Bigelow at us to carefully drag our souls to Hades borders on the ridiculous.
    I’ll throw one out on the public forum for thought. Six years ago I had gastric bypass surgery since I had, like Chris Farley as “Tommy Boy”, a bit of a weight problem. He handled bear claws better than I. Ok, so now the weight’s down to a reasonable level. But along the way, between personality, lifestyle, and diet (and quaffing a fair quantity of energy drinks, I’ll wager), I managed to work up a wee ulcer on my surgery site. It was discovered about 18 months ago after seeing blood where it’s MOST disturbing to see, and the doctor had me scoped from the top on down and the bottom on up. At least the lower GI is in greater shape; if I kick the bucket early it’ll make a good length of fire hose, I guess. The “pouch” is another matter, and I have to take care with my diet to avoid aggravating it. When I discussed this with the NP at the Kaiser Bariatric Clinic near San Francisco, he suggested a glass of red wine thrice a week! I asked if Welch’s would do and the answer was no. There was something about the properties of RED wine (UB40 would be happy, I guess), so a white or blush wine wouldn’t do, and it wasn’t specifically the alcohol. Oh, I suppose that I could have regularly acquired or grown the appropriate grapes and juiced them, but it’s a lost easier to just duck into Trader Joe’s for a bottle of “Two Buck Chuck”. So I’ve used this on occasion, and lo and behold, it works! Now, there is ONE other problem (besides the obvious…) us folk that have had RnY surgery are lightweights when it comes to booze! One 4 oz. glass and it hits hard and quick, but it passes quick. It’s the physiology difference from the standard GI tract. Now, I’ve not bothered lately since I’m doing fine, and truthfully, I don’t see what the big deal about wine or any alcohol is about. I still prefer Welch’s when it’s grape that I ape. The only other trouble is that I have to hide it from my g/f as she’s a recovered alcoholic, so if things get serious, I may have to take to keeping a bottle on hand in my office fridge and just taking care of matters outside of the home. No stumbling blocks. Truth is, I’d rather do without, but ulcer pain is no fun to deal with, and most anti-acids are incompatible, so I’m in a bit of a spot.

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  25. Syphax on March 11, 2013 at 7:34 PM

    Yes, technically tiramisu has both coffee and some kind of wine in it (though every recipe is different). However, it tastes awesome.

    You can know too whereof I speak. I ask you to just experiment on my word by planting a seed of tiramisu in your mouth. When you feel that seed begin to swell within you, you will begin to feel that it is true. Your faith in God will be strengthened as you taste the fruit which is exceedingly sweet and exceedingly delightful to the taste. But when you feel these swelling motions, are you yet finished? I say unto you, nay, for that is just the first bite. You must finish the tiramisu and endure to the end and you will be satisfied and astonished beyond measure. Brethren, adieu.

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  26. Hedgehog on March 12, 2013 at 2:47 AM

    Well 1 Timothy 5:23 is with you on the wine Douglas (#24), though the selfsame epistle also appears decries exercise (1 Tim 4:8). Did the word mean the same thing…

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  27. Mike S on March 12, 2013 at 8:04 AM

    #24: Douglas:

    I appreciate your comments. Joseph Smith intended that the Word of Wisdom was “sent greeting; not by commandment or constraint”. It was designed to be a suggestion that each person could use to try to optimize their health.

    Unfortunately, it has been changed from how it was revealed into a litmus test of what it means to be a “good” Mormon. In my profession, it is very common for someone to be on multiple anti-depressants, chronic narcotics, and anti-anxiety meds, yet be aghast at drinking a sip of wine. It is an association and not causation, but Utah does have the highest rate of “non-prescription use of prescription medications” in the country.

    Ultimately, the Word of Wisdom should be about health. It should be a suggestion, as it was revealed to Joseph Smith, with an interpretation for each individual between them and God. If, in a particular person’s circumstance, an occasional glass of wine is better than the alternative medications, that person shouldn’t be grouped with someone committing adultery – as has been recently suggested in other posts.

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  28. Justin on March 13, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    I voted according to what Toni [#2] wrote:

    According to D&C 89, hot cocoa would be a “no no” – as would decaf if it was hot, but everything else on the list (including the one I’ve never heard of, if it was not hot) would be okay.

    Since the revelation says “hot drinks” — I personally think it’s best to be guided by the general concept of avoiding the habit of taking drinks piping hot [which is what the early saints were in the habit of doing with tea and coffee at the time the revelation was given].

    I’m OK with D&C 89 having meant “tea and coffee” for those 1830′s saints [because that’s what they were in the habit of drinking hot], but that it might not necessarily mean that for us today — because either we get into the habit of drinking other liquids hot or get out of the habit of drinking tea and coffee hot.

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  29. Justin on March 13, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    Mike S [#27]:

    Joseph Smith intended that the Word of Wisdom was “sent greeting; not by commandment or constraint”. It was designed to be a suggestion that each person could use to try to optimize their health.

    Unfortunately, it has been changed from how it was revealed into a litmus test of what it means to be a “good” Mormon.

    which is why I’ve thus far been quite happy with the 2013 edition of the scriptures — because one of the things changed has been the section introduction to D&C 89, such that it now excludes:

    The first three verses were originally written as an inspired introduction and description by the Prophet.

    so that

    a word of wisdom
    for the benefit of the council of high priests
    assembled in Kirtland
    and the church
    and also the saints in Zion
    to be sent greeting
    not by commandment
    or constraint

    [...]

    is now a part of the official revelatory canon, binding on any-and-all LDS.

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  30. Douglas on March 14, 2013 at 8:55 PM

    Mike S – look outside your window for Airborne Swine; we agree completely.

    Sometimes I wonder how hard it would have been to just had formally codified: abstinence from terbacky, booze, coffee, tea, and drug “abuse” is necessary to be considered a member in good standing. Just do as Yul Brynner did: so let it be written so let it be done!

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