The whole world drinks coffee. Three people in four every day enjoy a brew of coffee. Now many of them cannot imagine a day without a cup of this delicious drink.
Italians have their espresso, Greeks – frappé, and Americans – light coffee.
There are many legend of the coffee started. One of them is a story about the Egyptian shepherd Kaidim and his “dancing goats”, which after eating from the coffee bushes were suddenly revived. The other is about the monk Omar of Yemen, who has been healing others with coffee beans since he discovered their healthy properties while traveling through the desert.
The origin of the word “coffee” is unknown. Some see it in Arabic kahwa, meaning wine. Since wine was forbidden in Islam, during the Sufi religious ceremonies, allegedly it was replaced by coffee. And it quickly gained recognition as coffee allowed to keep watch during all-night prayers that Muslim mystics were devoted to. Others believe that the name comes from one of the presumed coffee native land of Kaffa – the province in Ethiopia. Another would like to see its source in the word quwwa, signifying the strength, the power it gives to ones who drink it. Coffee beans in Europe (also from the word kahve) have come from the Ottoman Empire, the area of present-day Turkey, before that hitting a large part of the Arab world: Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria and Iraq.
The plant itself comes from Eastern Africa, the present-day Ethiopia. From there, it reached the other side of the Red Sea, to Yemen, and then to India (sufi Baba Budan brought not only the title of Haji, but also hidden under his clothes seven coffee plants). In the 18th century the first coffee seedlings had come to Brazil, which gave rise to the largest coffee plantations in the world – now every third grain of coffee comes from there.
Too good to ban it.
There are no traces of coffee drinking in ancient times. There are no reliable stories about this; there are no remarks about coffee in the Bible and the Koran, amidst the lack of pottery and containers from this period of time. The first reliable sources mentioning drinking coffee are dated at the end of the Middle Ages, and come from the surroundings of then busy harbor, and now sleepy village of Mocha in Yemen. The brewing from the crushed and roasted over the fire fruit of the coffee plants was reported there in the scattered neighborhoods of the Sufi monasteries. Grains from this region – with the characteristic aroma of dried fruit and chocolate – can be bought to this day.
Western researchers believe that coffee as a drink came to Europe between 16th and 17th century. The dispute over where it first appeared is still going on between Italians, English and French. Slovenian historian Božidar Jezernik recalls, however, that the Balkans coffee arrived almost two centuries earlier, and the first coffee house in Belgrade has already started to operate in 1522. Grains of the coffee plant were brought by Turks, who under the leadership of Suleiman the Magnificent took the current capital of Serbia in 1521.
For Muslims, who did not drink alcohol, coffee was the most important stimulant next to the tobacco. The records from European travel journalists are often full of expressed astonishment about the amount of coffee drunk by Turks or Bosnians – one of them, Harry Thomson, writes in The Outgoing Turk about an old man drinking two hundred cups a day!
By the simple dichotomy the Pope’s henchmen tried to convince Clement VIII to curse the black infusion, which they called “the blood of Satan,” the opposite of “blood of Jesus,” that is, wine. The Pope tried the coffee and was delighted with its taste and effect and was to say that it was too good to be banned, rather it should be tamed, domesticated and accepted under the Christian wings. This happened allegedly in 1600. Since then, coffee has triumphantly marched through Europe.
Several decades later cafes existed in Italy, England, France and the Netherlands. The first café in Vienna was opened by the Pole – Jerzy Kulczycki – shortly after the success of the siege of Vienna in 1683. This nobleman, soldier, spy and adventurer in one person – Kulczycki – he knew six languages, including Turkish, which helped him repeatedly sneak out of the besieged Vienna. After the victorious battle, Kulczycki took over the huge supply of the green grains abandoned by the Turks and opened a place where he had been brewing and selling coffee dressed as Turk. A few steps from today’s Vienna’s main train station you can still see Kulczycki’s monument, which is standing on the street of his name, that is pouring cups of aromatic drink.
Integration by the cup of coffee.
First coffee has become the universal medicine and stimulant and then was performing social functions; gather around the table, sometimes for a very long time – Ethiopian coffee ceremony begins just at roasting green beans, goes through the crushing of coffee in the mortar and lasts until proper finish that is brewing a coffee. Jezernik writes: “The people living in the Balkans valued coffee primarily of its ceremonial use – every guest was served coffee first. Without it, you cannot imagine either a small or a big party or gathering: they all ended up with a mandatory cup of black coffee. And who stopped by for too long, got the so-called sikter-coffee, which meant: Enough already, go away! ”
Coffee is one of those rituals that let you start the day well. It is worth experimenting with the methods of brewing, leaving coffee from the drip coffeemaker for camping situations, and freshly ground – for the summer, to prepare cold frappé.
Good coffee is like whiskey or vintage wine – each coffee seedling has a different taste, further emphasized by the plantation climate and soil, depending on the initial treatment method of grain treating after harvest or finally the method of grain roasting. Brazilian coffee is often powerful, heavy; has notes of roasted nuts mixed in with the aroma of bitter chocolate. The seeds from Kenya on the contrary – give you an airy, tea-infusion like full of citrus notes. Ethiopia in turn has fruity-floral notes, sweet but also a bit “dirty” in taste. India has peppery, spicy notes, cocoa and powerful taste. Mountainous regions of South and Central America carry sweetness, like caramelized nuts; coffee from that region of the world have notes of pineapple, papaya and mango.
However, on the beginning it is better to start from a sip of pure, black, strong coffee. The good quality of the grain gives it a beautiful aroma and a deep flavor, not to mention the health aspects of such a drink. This kind of grain is only obtained from organic farming. An example of such coffee is Superb Antioxidant Coffee from Living Good Coffee. Such coffee has a palette richer than wine, more than a thousand flavors have been found there, and its whole process starting from planting grains to the grain harvest is ecologically clean. That is why we sincerely recommend it.
Well, talking about coffee can take long. Traveling into the world of coffee can be as long and fascinating as the way these inconspicuous grains have conquered the world. That is why it is good to start from the beginning.
We wish you a good and aromatic coffee!