Monday, 1 October 2012

Coffee from the Pages of History

A morning without coffee is like a sleep. So, where does this coffee come from?

It takes me back to 13th century when a farmer used to have his herd grazing on Ethiopian mountains. When moved to certain patch of the mountain, Kladi; the farmer found his herd rather active than earlier. His goats jumped and danced and they didn’t sleep at nights. Kladi found that there were some berries behind all this enigmatic energy feast of the cattle and he too chewed on them.

Today known as raw coffee beans, these berries were brought to the nearby monastery where anointed abbot made a drink of the berries and found it so energetic that he could pray all night long after drinking it. These berries got the word of the mouth and started being propagated all across the Arabian peninsula where Arabians not only started cultivating coffee beans but they also became traders of coffee. The story does not end at all. Travelling through centuries, this coffee spread all across the world and then started improvisation in making coffee drinks. Coffee capsules and coffee pods are the latest advents relating to coffee mania. Let’s see how this journey took on.

Coffee in Arabia:

Coffee has travelled from Ethiopian berries to Nespresso capsules. And Arabian Peninsula played quite important role in that entire journey. Though Arabians were not the first ones to grow coffee plants, they surely were the first ones to realize its commercial dimensions. This led coffee to move all around the world in coming centuries. As soon as coffee was brought to Arab, Yemenis started growing it in their farms and only after few years, coffee reached all the corners of Egypt, Turkey, Syria and Persia. It became quite popular among Arabian people, perhaps their religion was a driving force behind this wild fame. Muslims are not allowed to drink Alcohol. Perhaps it was an alternative for them to keep them energetic, agile and active for their prayers and businesses. When demand of coffee increased, Arabs opened coffee houses and in those coffee houses, people used to come all around the day and sip with their friends. Thus, coffee became Arabs social drink.

Coffee in Europe:

Coffee houses in Arab were regarded as ‘schools of wise’, where people from all walks of life gathered and used to listen to music, play chess, discuss politics and share business experiences. And every time European traders went back to their countries, they used to tell fascinating stories of dark black magical Arabian drink. By 17th century, coffee reached Europe as well and there too sprang up coffee houses and here too, coffee became a social beverage. Arabs were coffee traders and they used to sell coffee to merchandisers. It is because European client was not as suitable for coffee plantation as was Arabian. But Europeans improvised coffee making methods and they kept improvising until we see the latest nespresso compatible coffee capsules , coffee machines, coffee pods etc.

Coffee in Modern World:

Coffee is often widely referenced as 2nd largest traded commodity. Though it could be questioned but there isn’t any doubt that it’s world’s most popular beverage. As told in the opening lines of the article, the day starts not with the rising of the sun, but with the coffee drink.

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