Beethoven Had A Painstaking Daily Coffee Ritual

Ludwig van Beethoven is undoubtedly considered one of the most influential composers and pianists in history — and to many, the greatest of all time. The German symphonist's most famous pieces include "Symphony No. 5," "Sonata No. 14," "Für Elise," and "Ode to Joy," just to name a few, per the British Library. For centuries, his songs have been played by orchestras around the world. Although Beethoven was struck with tragedy as he experienced deafness beginning in his late twenties, he persisted to contrive more than 700 works throughout his life. Not too shabby.

But perhaps even more astonishing than Beethoven's résumé were his alleged coffee consumption habits. Because boy, did the man love his coffee. The musical genius brewed up his java in an extremely particular fashion. Beethoven had a strong belief that the optimal cup of joe needed a precise number of beans, a ritual to which he was incredibly faithful.

Beethoven insisted on 60 coffee beans per cup

Beethoven started each morning with coffee. Pretty standard practice, right? Well, the guy had one puzzling liquid breakfast recipe, as Beethoven's coffee reportedly required exactly 60 beans per cup, which he insisted on counting by hand, according to Slate. In the biography "Beethoven As I Knew Him," which was written by his close friend Anton Schindler, it was revealed that the composer even counted the beans when making coffee for visitors. Beethoven was also known to frequent nearby coffee shops, where he would sit in private to avoid engaging with fellow customers. According to Schindler, coffee was the "one indispensable item in [Beethoven's] diet." Coffee or Die Magazine also shares that, in his old age, Beethoven's doctors advised him to cease his coffee habits. Of course, he didn't listen.

So, is 60 beans too many? Too little? Just enough? Full Coffee Roast explains that the amount depends on the drinker's ideal flavor and strength, as well as the size and shape of the beans, but the average 12-ounce cup consists of anywhere between 90 and 150 beans. Caffeine intake looks a bit different for everyone, which is why people take their coffee in unique ways to fuel their bodies and minds. For instance, some people prefer their coffee black while others enjoy a splash of cream or a spoonful of sugar for a sweet kick. At the end of the day, no coffee preparation method is neither right nor wrong. And as for Beethoven, maybe his countless (pun intended) 60-bean mugs were partially to thank for his timeless masterpieces.