As most people stumble into the kitchen and reach for a morning cup of coffee, they probably do not think of this moment as remotely magickal—except perhaps for that uncanny spiritual pleasure derived from the first sip. Nonetheless, coffee (along with many other beverages) has played an important role in the world’s mystical and religious practices! In fact, temple altars from Japan to South America have often been adorned with elaborate cups just waiting to be filled. With what? All manner of drinks including wine, water, beer, milk, or other similar liquids aimed at honoring and appeasing the god or goddess to whom that temple was built.
While this custom seems far removed from our drive-through society, you will still see water- or wine- filled chalices on many church altars today. Even outside this setting there are a lot of beverages that we have come to treasure oa personal, familial, or cultural level. For example, do you
prepare eggnog on Yule from an old family recipe or always use the same set of glasses to serve out wine for special occa-sions? These kinds of actions indicate a unique quality in bev-erages that has captured human imaginations and taste budsfor centuries!
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