About Coffee

By | Apr 24, 2009

The history of coffee can be traced to at least as early as the 9th century, when it appeared in the highlands of Ethiopia. From there it spread to Egypt and Yemen. By the fifteenth century coffee had reached Persia, Turkey, and northern Africa then spreading to Europe, and became popular there during the seventeenth century. The Dutch were the first to import it large-scale into Europe, and eventually smuggled in some seedlings in 1690, defying the Arab prohibition on exporting the plants or unroasted seeds.

Although they are called coffee beans, it’s actually made from the seeds of the coffee plant.

Coffee was not initially in America as successful as it had been in Europe. But during the Revolutionary War the demand for coffee increased. During the War of 1812, Britain temporarily cut off access to tea imports, and the taste for coffee grew. It is now a common drink for breakfast in the United States.

Most Arabica coffee beans originate from one of three growing regions; Latin America, East Africa/Arabia and Asia/Pacific. Arabica coffees were traditionally named by the port from which they were exported. The two oldest being Mocha, from Yemen, and Java, from Indonesia.

In ancient times, coffee was initially used for spiritual reasons. At least 1,000 years ago, traders brought coffee across the Red Sea into Arabia (modern-day Yemen), where Muslim monks began cultivating the shrubs in their gardens.

At first, the Arabians made wine from the pulp of the fermented coffee berries. Thus coffee became known as “Qahwah,” which is the Arabic word for wine, from which the modern word coffee derives.


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