coffee knowledge

The origin of coffee

Where does coffee originally come from?
Unfortunately, there is no historical evidence of the origin of coffee cultivation. What is known, however, is that the genus “Coffea” originated on the African continent. According to many researchers, the place of origin of coffee, or more precisely Coffea Arabica, is in the Abyssinian region of “Kaffa” in the Ethiopian highlands. But this is not the origin of the name.

What does the word “coffee” mean?
The term coffee is derived from the ancient Arabic “qahwha” and means something like “wine”. Other translations can also be found. There one reads terms like “herbal drink” or “life force”. This plant, or rather the fruit, quickly enjoyed great popularity in the Arab world, as alcohol was already forbidden at that time, but people still liked to get together and drink. Because of this fact, coffee was also called the “wine of Arabia” when it arrived in Europe in the 16th century. However, in the beginning, coffee was far from being brewed as we know it today.
First of all, the ripe, red coffee cherries were eaten. Later, the seeds, i.e. the actual coffee beans, were ground and processed with animal fat. The whole thing was eaten as food for the journey and as a source of energy. Some sources also speak of the ripe cherries being infused together with the leaves in a similar way to tea. It was not until around 1000 AD that the green stones began to be cooked, and it was almost 300 years later that the first roasting and grinding processes were developed. At that time, the port town of “Mokka” was the most important transhipment point for coffee in the Arab world. In the middle of the 17th century, Holland cultivated coffee for commercial use for the first time. This happened on Ceylon, today’s Sri Lanka.

How did coffee get to Europe?
Coffee’s first great success in Europe began in 1683, the year the Turks were defeated and driven out of Vienna. During the flight, some coffee supplies were overlooked and thus left behind for the Austrians to enjoy. Of course, the victory had to be duly celebrated and in the course of this the first coffee houses were opened where crescent-shaped croissants were served with coffee. From the 17th century, coffee was also drunk in Venice. The famous Café Florian was opened on the 29th of December 1720. The rapid spread of coffee was facilitated or made possible by the development of steam navigation. In the 18th century, the classic coffee houses were already very widespread. Since then, cities such as Vienna, Paris and Venice have played a major pioneering role.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *