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Cold coffee

Updated on July 23, 2011

A drink with attitude

Since it's discovery in the mid 7th century coffee has been a social drink, but nowhere in the world is coffee more widely used and socialized than in the Southern United States. In the South it is considered bad manners not offer ones visitors a cup of coffee. Coffee is never out of season, in the hottest Southern summers (even in a draught) to the coldest winters, coffee is almost always offered to any visitors of homes in the south. In the fall and winter, especially around the holiday season coffee is a must. But did you know that coffee was also used to send strong messages in Southern Culture?

Cold coffee

If one had and unwanted guest, arrive at their home, let's say a nosy neighbor, an unpopular family member, in law or a snoopy government man. The true Southern Belle, lady of the house if you will, would not withhold the expected cup of black adrenaline, no, that would make her a poor hostess and never let it be said that a true lady was a bad hostess. No Sir, instead these women had a surefire method to let these nar do wells that they were not welcome and it would be best if they left and did not return, she would simply pour her guest a heaping cup of "cold coffee". Once he or she put their lips to the cup the message was received immediately. A look of embarrassment usually followed by a polite "Well I'd better be going" shortly thereafter was voiced as they quickly took there leave. There were however some hard cases such as salesmen, Government men and politicians who would be bold or gullible enough to bring to their hostess attention that their coffee was cold, " Why Mrs. Smith this coffee is cold." To which the usual reply was mixed with a curt smile "So it is Sir, So it is" as she gently blew the steam rising from her hot cup of coffee towards them. Because of the tremendous impact that the cold coffee message carried with it, it was used only in extreme circumstance and even then seldom if ever in mixed company, to be served cold coffee, while at a large gathering was the ultimate insult because as soon as the message was delivered everyone in the room knew what had happened.Because of the strength of the message it was usually only necessary to administer the "cold coffee" treatment once for that person to get the idea that they were no longer welcomed there. I am not sure just when the "cold coffee" message began I do know that in southern Mississippi it was used up to the middle of the twentieth Century. I have actually heard the women in my mother's circle of friends comment " I gave her cold coffee, I won't be bothered with her again," when referring to some unwanted guest or pest if you will. The cold shoulder couldn't hold a candle to "Cold Coffee, no pun intended. I can't help but laugh though at how times and attitudes have changed, each time I indulge in my one vice a tall cup of vanilla "ice coffee", it's hard to believe that we now willingly pay $3.00 a cup for something that was once considered the ultimate insult.


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    • Truckstop Sally profile image

      Truckstop Sally 6 years ago

      One of my vices is iced tea. I truly beleive coffee is meant to be served hot; and tea cold. Ha!

    • johnnyco12 profile image

      johnnyco12 6 years ago from Pascagoula, Ms

      Thanks for all your kind words this is my first hub back after taking a sabbatical to further pursue my ministry. The Lord has truly blessed the time I invested. One night as I was finishing up my Sermon for the following day's service, it was almost like I felt the Lord put his hand on my shoulder and he spoke softly and lovingly to me, "You are a good writer, I want you to write." I was both flattered and humbled by his words,I have never been great, at anything and all that I am and all I ever will be God made me that. Your words today are a confirmation of the words the Lord spoke to me that night, Thank you, I love you all.

    • Jennie Demario profile image

      Venture Boyz 6 years ago from Floating in the clouds

      Wow that is really neat. I had no idea about the subliminal message behind cold coffee but I can definitely see how it makes sense. It is funny because when I read your title I was thinking, man I could really go for an ice coffee right now lol. Now when someone serves my some cold coffee I am gonna bounce! lol

    • ubanichijioke profile image

      Alexander Thandi Ubani 6 years ago from Lagos

      That's awesome information you got here. So coffee can serve as thirst-quencher & also as a sign of hostility. That's interesting! Voted awesome

    • Francesca27 profile image

      Francesca27 6 years ago from Hub Page

      I never knew this. Thank for this interesting hub.