The Fascinating History of Coffee: From Ethiopia to the World

Coffee has been a beloved beverage for centuries with its origins tracing back to ancient forests in Ethiopia. Learn more about its fascinating history from Yemen to Europe.

The Fascinating History of Coffee: From Ethiopia to the World

Coffee has been a beloved beverage for centuries, and its origins can be traced back to the ancient coffee forests of the Ethiopian plateau. According to legend, it was here that a goat herder named Kaldi first discovered the potential of these beans. Coffee quickly spread throughout Yemen, Egypt, Persia, and Turkey, where it was known as the “wine of Arabia”. The drink's popularity soon led to the opening of coffee shops all over Arabia, which were referred to as “Schools of the Wise”.

It was during this time that the modern version of roasted coffee originated in Arabia. In the 13th century, coffee was widely consumed by the Muslim community for its stimulating effects, which proved useful during long prayer sessions. In order to corner the market for coffee crops, the Arabs dried and boiled coffee beans, making them infertile. As a result, no coffee plants existed outside of Arabia or Africa until the 17th century when Baba Budan, an Indian pilgrim, left Mecca with fertile grains attached to his abdomen.

This gave rise to a new and competitive European coffee trade. Wild coffee plants from Kefa (Kaffa), Ethiopia were brought to southern Arabia and cultivated in the 15th century. The popularity of coffee in the Arab world led to the creation of the first coffee shop in Mecca and then Constantinople in the 15th and 16th centuries respectively. Coffee was then introduced in one European country after another throughout the 16th and 17th centuries.One of many legends about the discovery of coffee is that of Kaldi, an Arab goatherd who noticed his goats behaving strangely after eating berries from an evergreen shrub.

After tasting them himself, Kaldi experienced a sense of euphoria and proclaimed his discovery to the world. Culturally, coffee is an important part of Ethiopian and Yemeni history, with its significance dating back 14 centuries.The debate over whether coffee was first used in Ethiopia or Yemen continues today. After years of research, the freeze-drying process of coffee to prepare an instant cup of coffee emerged. In 1674, a Women's Petition Against Coffee was born out of an attempt to ban it and bring men back home.In 1727, King of Portugal sent Francisco de Melo Palheta to French Guiana to obtain coffee seeds and become part of the coffee market.

Robusta coffee is mainly used for blending but Arabica is the only type grown and consumed in Ethiopia. Arbuckles became the world's largest coffee importer and even owned the largest number of merchant ships in the world.In 1880, Philippines was fourth largest exporter of coffee beans and when coffee rust hit Brazil, Africa and Java it became only source of coffee beans worldwide. Those buds blossomed and 50 years later there were 18,680 coffee trees in Martinique allowing cultivation to spread to Saint-Domingue (Haiti), Mexico and other Caribbean islands.In 1893, coffee from Brazil was brought to Kenya and Tanzania near its birthplace and grown in East Africa. The glory days of Philippine coffee industry lasted until 1889 when coffee rust hit its shores.

Around this time one of most important early writers on coffee was Abd al-Qadir al-Jaziri who compiled a work on history and legal controversies surrounding it.Only in 'Berbera' article there is considerable export and it is found in Bombay market now before Mocha. It wasn't until 1822 that production began to grow in Brazil and 1852 country became largest producer which has remained till today.

Leave a Comment

All fileds with * are required