The history of coffee
We travel back in time with you and trace the exciting history of coffee.
Who discovered it and where does the coffee bean actually come from?
What are all the myths and legends about the origin and history of coffee and what is really true? ?
How it all began...
The history of coffee begins with its discovery. If you want to be precise, the coffee bean was not discovered by humans.
At least if you believe the most widespread legend of Antonius Faustus Naironus. In his book De saluberrima potione cahve from 1671 he writes about the discovery of the coffee bean.
Accordingly, it was actually goats that tasted the bean for the first time.
In the year 900, the shepherd Kaldi is said to have wandered with his sheep through the kingdom of Kaffa, today's Ethiopia. Some of the sheep ate the red coffee cherries along the path. Later that evening the shepherd noticed that the sheep were jumping around very lively and couldn't find any rest. And only those who had eaten the coffee cherries.
The monks in the nearby monastery heard about this and tried the coffee cherries. Complaining about the bitter taste, they spat them into the fire.
So the beans were roasted and there was a delicious smell in the air, which the monks also noticed. So they brewed the roasted beans with water and drank their first coffee.
The enthusiasm was great because the monks could now easily perform their nightly prayers without getting tired.
The wine of Islam
Beginning of the 16th century In the 19th century, coffee conquered the Ottoman Empire, probably through slave traders. As the “wine of Islam,” it quickly gained popularity among Muslims. Since the consumption of wine was strictly forbidden, they had now found a substance that gave them a similar stimulating effect.
The first coffee house was built in Mecca around 1511, which spread rapidly and therefore has a great influence on the history of coffee. However, to the dislike of the then ruler Murad IV. The coffee houses were burned again under his leadership and coffee drinkers were considered criminals. They were even persecuted and punished. The few coffee houses that still existed were mostly disguised as barbershops.
Where does the word coffee come from?
The roots of the term can be found in the ancient Arabic word Qahwah , which was originally the name for wine.
Translated it means the exciting thing.
The Turkish word kahve then led to the Italian caffè.
The French name café was then adopted into German without any further adjustments.
When did coffee come to Germany?
The history of coffee for Europe began when some European travelers became infected with the enthusiasm for Qahwah in the Ottoman Empire.
It became known throughout Europe as a souvenir.
It was the Augsburg physician Leonhard Rauwolf who made coffee popular in Germany in 1582. The first sacks of coffee finally reached Germany in 1615. But at the beginning the new drink was exclusively reserved for the nobility and elite. Incidentally, it had little to do with a cozy coffee party among ladies; it was mainly men who enjoyed the new experience.
The first coffee house was opened in Bremen in 1673 and with that the lives of non-nobles also changed.
Up until this point, it was the norm to quench your thirst primarily with wine, because water was considered contaminated with germs. Even children and pregnant women drank large amounts of wine. With the establishment of coffee, people woke up from their state of constant fog for the first time.
Around the world
With colonization, the coffee bean also spread around the globe. In 1645 the first European coffee house opened in Venice. London, Vienna and Paris followed a few years later. The rest of the world had to be patient because the sale was initially withheld from the Prussian state in order to make a profit. Even roasting coffee in private households was strictly forbidden. This made coffee smuggling very lucrative.
After all, it was Dutch and English sailors who secretly imported the coffee plant to their colonies around the world.
When the coffee plant was imported, its cultivation also began. End of the 17th century In the 19th century, the Netherlands managed to grow the first coffee plants in Java, Indonesia. Sri Lanka and India quickly followed suit.
A race between the colonial powers for growing areas began. Britain and France brought the plant to Central America, Africa and Australia.
In 1727, the Portuguese achieved a milestone because they were the ones who brought the coffee plant to Brazil, which is still the largest coffee-growing region in the world today.
This was followed by cultivation in greenhouses, but despite all efforts it was not possible to grow the coffee bean in Europe.
Today we know that this is only possible in the so-called coffee belt, i.e. regions near the equator. The coffee plant can only thrive in subtropical climates.
Today's coffee culture
Today, coffee is a cult drink and it is impossible to imagine our everyday life without it. Be it coffee in the morning, a coffee chat with friends or the savior in the afternoon slump.
Trade is also booming: coffee is now the second most important trading commodity.
In addition to the original variety Arabica, another type of coffee was introduced in 1889: Robusta.
Today, coffee is available in every conceivable variety and flavor and there is something for every taste.
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