Gertrude Stein’s Doctor Made Her Drink Coffee

by June 27, 2017


Now that you can get prescription marijuana, and those Alice B. Toklas brownies will no longer get you arrested, why not get yourself some prescription coffee?In a 1934 article in the New Yorker about Gertrude Stein, famous avant-garde poet and proprietor of the most famous artist’s salon in history, Janet Flanner describes Stein’s coffee habit:

Miss Stein gets up every morning about ten and drinks some coffee, against her will. She’s always thought coffee would make her nervous, but her doctor prescribed it. Miss Toklas, her companion, gets up at six and starts dusting and fussing around…Every morning, Miss Toklas bathes and combs their French poodle, Basket, and brushes its teeth. It has its own toothbrush.

I was happy to learn their dog had its own toothbrush!

In spite of her reluctance to drink it, she had opinions about it:

“Coffee is a lot more than just a drink; it’s something happening. Not as in hip, but like an event, a place to be, but not like a location, but like somewhere within yourself. It gives you time, but not actual hours or minutes, but a chance to be, like be yourself, and have a second cup”
Gertrude Stein, Selected Writings

If you’re in need of some time to be yourself head here for your coffee prescription!