Combine contraband coffee, paralytic guilt and a gift for translating Greek and you too can change the world. Such was the case with a young, deeply devout Catholic by the name of Martin Luther in the year 1516.
A decade after he traded academia for the priesthood, Luther found himself disturbed by the quid pro quo nature of Catholicism. Sin expunged via penance in increasingly pecuniary form struck Luther as graceless at best. A field trip to Rome only served to dial up his unease as the ornateness on vivid display communicated dishonesty and even vice. That this epiphany coincided with the first trickles of coffee into Germany was fitting given what was to come.