History Of Coffee
Coffee has become a part of our world today. Billions of people cannot go a day without adding a cup of best coffee to their consumables. But have you ever wondered how it was discovered in the first place? Let’s go down memory lane to unravel some of the past stories on our favorite cup of Joe.
How was coffee discovered?
There are countless stories about how coffee was discovered. There are even more legends on who first drank or ate a coffee bean. According to one of the stories that have lived on the internet for years, a goat was the first to try coffee.
- Ethiopia origin legend: Many years back on the Ethiopian Plateau, a goat herder named Kaldi took his goats to the ancient coffee forests (was then seen as berries). While they were there, his goats eating berries from the strange tree. Soon after then, he noticed that his goats were so energetic that sleep was erased at night. He immediately reported this to the Abbot of their local monastery. The Abbot (the second man to take coffee) then made the berries into a drink and saw too that he stayed awake throughout the long evening prayer. The Abbot quickly spread the word to the other monks and the word has continued to travel since then. The news of coffee's magical powers reached the Arabian Peninsula, Europe, New Amsterdam, New York, Britain, Arabia, France, America, and the entire world as we know it today.
- Yemen origin legend: A Moroccan traveler in Ethiopia observed the vitality of birds after eating berries from the coffee tree. And when he tried it too, he also felt stronger.
- The legend of Omar:However, the only legend that seems believable is the one of Omar, an Islamic personality known to be able to cure the sick through prayer. He was deported from Mecca and on his journey out of Mecca, he was starving. Then he found berries from nearby shrubbery, and he ate them. Finding them bitter, he roasted them. But they became very hard. Then his next instinct was to boil. After boiling to soften the bean, a brown (sweet-smelling liquid) was the result. (Omar was the first to brew coffee). After drinking the coffee, he felt strengthened. Then he went to spread the news of the 'miracle drug'. He was returned to Mecca as a saint and the wonders of coffee did not die down.
There are other legends and folktale stories of how coffee came to be, but it wasn’t all beautiful. Coffee was banned in a few countries at one point in time.
When was coffee banned?
Mecca, in 1511 banned coffee because it was believed to be the driver for radical thinking (this was against the wish of the governor then). In Italy, it was labeled as a satanic supplement, but after the intervention of the pope (Pope Clement in the 16th century), it sprang up again.
The first ban with punishment was in Constantinople. Anyone caught with coffee was beaten severely and a second offense would result in death by suffocation and drowning. In Sweden, coffee was confiscated and given only to convicted murderers. It was supposed to be the weapon to kill them so they forced an overdose on coffee.
Finally, in Prussia, 1777, coffee was banned because the King (His Majesty, Frederick) was scared that coffee would replace breakfast drinking. He wanted the beer to remain on top and saw coffee as a competition.
What’s behind the name?
Nothing much. The word 'coffee' didn’t exist in the English Language until 1582 and it was generated from Dutch, which was gotten from the Ottoman Turkish language, and borrowed from the Arabic word – qahwah (meaning a type of wine). It was categorized as a dark wine that suppressed hunger and provided power or energy. And that is exactly what it is.
Now that you know the past that’s behind your cup of coffee, why don’t you brew yourself one now and drink with knowledge? It would taste better. And make sure you serve it exactly the way you like it – better than the one Omar made.
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