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Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Posted by coffee

Ethiopian was coffee's birthplace, through Arabia and the Middle East, and on to Europe and the new world, which mysterious and conflict-ridden journey within. The coffee plant found its way from Ethiopia to Arabia sometime between AD 575 and AD 850. Possibility is that the seed were brought by African tribes-people as they migrated northwards from Kenya and Ethiopia to the Arabian peninsular. They were eventually driven back by spear-throwing Persians but they left behind coffee tress growing in what is now the Yemen.

Black Broth

The Spartans were called coffee was the "black broth" of the Lacedaemonians. And it is claimed by the old Testament tales that it was the same with the "parched corn" that Abigail gave to David, and Boaz to Ruth. And it is believed that coffee dated as far as the Trojan war, "The fair Helen with other ladies of Priamus's Court, used sometimes to drown the Thoughts of the Calamities she had brought upon her family and country, in a pot of Coffee".

Ethiopian Goatherd
The tales also comes with the story of Banesius in which an Ethiopian goatherd complained to the Imam of a neighbouring monastery that his flock kept awake all night and spent it frisking and dancing in an unusual manner two or three time a week. It was concluded by the Imam that the animals may eaten berries that growing on shrubs, and he decided to try them himsefl.

The Dervish Omar
Legend tells of the dervish Ali ben Omar al Shadili, a Sufi grand master known for his ability to heal the sick by prayer. Nearing starvation in the dessert to a cave, exiled from his home town Mocha, Omar chewed berries from shrubs growing nearby. He found that the berries too bitter, then he roasted them, hoping to improve the flavor. He decided the berries needed boiling to soften them. He drank the resulting fragrant brew and was instantly revitalized, and stated for several days.
Patients from Mocha came to the cave for medical advice. They were given the same drink and they were cured. The news reached Mocha, Omar was invited to return in triumph and was subsequently made the patron saint of the city.

The Dutch Enterprise
It was the Dutch merchants who shut the Arab coffee's monopoly for the first time. After had a considerable amount of information from the botanists, the Dutch saw no reason why the Arabs should maintain their monopoly. So, a plant was stolen from Mocha by the Dutch and brought it back to Europe unharmed. By the middle of the century, cultivation trials had been set up in the East Indian Dutch colony (now Indonesia) of Java known as Mocha-Java blend of bean. And the plantations had been established in rapid succession in the neighbouring island colonies of Sumatera, Timor, Bali, and Celebes (now Sulawesi).

Coffee in Persia
Perhaps, the first coffee habits took place in Persia even before it came to Arabia. Persian warriors were said to have driven back the Ethiopians when they tried to settle in the Yemen. Undoubtedly were the Persians would have found to their liking the coffee cherries growing on the trees planted by the Ethiopians, and take them back to their own country.


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