The History of Coffee
Coffee is a magical drink. It is nothing short of a magic potion. And the history of coffee, is without a doubt fascinating, let's get into it!
Coffee how we intake now is as a beverage, but when it was first discovered, it was made as a food. African tribes used to extract the ripe, juicy cherries and mixed them with animal fat as marination. Apart from the rich taste, the coffee cherries used to balance their meals with abundant protein. And, as many of them were war soldiers, the coffee helped them in staying more alert and energetic.
Coffee was then prepared as wine by fermenting the cherries in barrels. Later, the people started infusing the seeds of the cherries, which is now known as coffee beans, with cold water to make a black coloured drink. It wasn't until 1000AD that they started to grind the beans in mortars and infusing it with hot water.
HOW WAS COFFEE DISCOVERED?
Legend has it that it was goats who discovered coffee and not humans. One day a goat-herder -Kaldi, in Ethiopia in 850 AD saw that his herd was dancing and prancing around after eating red cherries, and that's when he discovered coffee. It took him some time to understand its benefits, but once he figured that coffee helps his herd to stay awake, the news spread.
In those days people used camels for their daily transport, and also to deliver goods. When the word spread, that coffee helps to stay awake; the camel riders started feeding the camels with the cherry. This allowed them to travel through the night as well, so they could reach their destination faster while reducing their costs.
The Worlds first cup of coffee was also because of Kaldi. When he discovered coffee, he was quite excited and took some for an Islamic monk, a Sufi. But the Sufi was not happy and threw the beans in a pit of fire, and suddenly people could start smelling the aroma of the coffee roasting. Very quickly someone raked up the beans and put them in hot water which was near them, producing the worlds first cup of coffee.
Interesting Historic Facts from around the World
Coffee has been a part of revolutions and wars around the world.
In the 1760s the British were deep in debt, so to make more money they imposed multiple taxes on American Colonists hoping to pay their debts. So on December 16, 1773, Samuel Adams and all fifty other Bostonians, dumped 342 chests of tea, imported by the British East India Company, into the harbour. This was 'The Boston Tea Party'. Soon after that, everyone started boycotting tea, which created a nation full of coffee drinkers practically in a single night.
In the 1800s the German husbands coined a phrase 'Kaffeeklatsch', which means, coffee- gossip. With the introduction of coffee into the country, a new lifestyle was born, where women would gather in coffee houses to socialise. 'Kaffeeklatsch' enabled the German women to share their ideas, and ideals, which led towards their role as a free talker, and free thinker.
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Coffee Comes to India
Coffee came to India centuries after it was discovered for the first time. It was discovered in around 850 AD, and it first came to India around 1670. Coffee was first brought into the country by Baba Budan, into Kodagu, or Chikmagalur in Karnataka. He had smuggled seven seeds, only seven and now India is one of the highest producers of coffee. To read more about the seven seeds click here