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A History of World in Six Glasses by Tom Standage

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A History of World in Six Glasses by Tom Standage

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  • April 14, 2008
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How Six Beverages changed the Face of the EarthThroughout history certain drinks have marked a trend that has changed the face of the earth. Each drinks including beer, wine, spirits (distilled alcohol), coffee, tea, and coca-cola have been a catalyst for the development of our society. As a result, the alcohol and the caffeine in the drinks have not only quenched our thirst through history, but have done much more than that; they have helped different cultures intertwine. Each one of them set humankind on a path towards modernity. Six beverages precisely, three alcoholic, and three caffeine marked the tendency; the first beverage to mark a trend was beer that both served as a currency and for political purposes. Later came the Greeks with a fermented grape juice, named "wine" that with the help of formal drinking parties helped diffuse ideas and thoughts. With the coming of the age of exploration and the discovery of America, raw goods and the distillation process arrived and helped the development of distilled drinks such as brandy, rum, and whiskey which were used as currency to buy slaves and became popular in North America. As alcoholism spread, other people especially professionals looked for that drink that instead of confusing the mind rather promoted clarity. Coffee, the black gift from the Arabs promoted clarity that was what professionals were looking for such a long time. However the emergence of the British Empire as a world dominion helped China's flagship drink, tea helped to open lucrative trade routes with the east. Perhaps, the most affluent of all, or at least the one single drink that reached every corner of earth is the carbonated soft beverage called Coca-Cola; Coca-Cola marked the start of the globalization period. Six drinks, six different stories that mark our world today.

Beer, the first alcoholic beverage appeared as a result of a change of lifestyle from the humans that migrated from out of Africa. Before, these people were nomads...