The History Of Coffee
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Miss Maud Perth Catering, Restaurant, Hotel, Cafe

History Of Coffee

The first historical references to coffee are found in the year 850 in Persia, but more legendary versions with regards to the discovery of coffee go back much further in time.

There is also another story of the “roasted grain” which was offered to David, described in the book of Kings.The most colourful story originates from Muslim history. It tells how the Angel Gabriel woke Mohamed from his drowsiness with a steaming cup of coffee just before an important task. The effect of the drink was so powerful, not only did it rouse the prophet from his sleepiness, but gave him the strength to unsaddle and defeat 40 men in one battle.

However, it seems most likely that the true history of coffee began in the late 6th century AD in the Caffa region of Ethiopia. Here, legends claim, a goat herder noticed a strange restlessness in his flock after they had eaten the berries and leaves of a strange unknown plant.

Monks from a nearby monastery heard of this phenomenon, and after various trials discovered that by roasting, grinding and infusing in water the seeds of this plant, a unique beverage could be obtained, the beverage helped to keep them awake during long hours of prayer.

Ancient Coffee Pots
It is most probably because of this characteristic that word and use of this drink spread amongst monasteries and was taken by the Ethiopian army to Yemen. The use of coffee then spread as far as the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.  

The word was further spread by the great number of pilgrims from all over the world who visited these cities, tasted coffee for the first time and took it back to their own countries. The Muslims called the drink “qahwah” (which means infusion). The Turks pronounced it “qahve” which not surprisingly became caffe, which then became café in European languages.

It was the Dutch who literally brought the coffee plant to the rest of the world. They brought the first coffee plant from Mocha in Yemen to Holland in 1616. Their first cultivation was in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) in 1658.

The first London coffeehouse was opened in the 17th century. These coffeehouses soon became known as “Penny Universities”, it was jested that you could get an education at the price of one cent while enjoying a coffee, just by paying attention to the great minds whom shared their voice and opinion in these shops.

Coffeehouses now began to open all over the world.

In 1686, the first Paris coffee house opened 'Le Procope', and is still open today!

In Vienna it was a Pole who opened the first coffeehouse. He not only contributed to saving the city from invasion by the Turks, but also invented a new way of drinking coffee. He filtered the sediment, sweetened it with honey and added a little milk. At the same time, to commemorate the eluded danger, a baker in the city invented a half-moon shaped pastry, which went perfectly with the drink. This was how the delicious tradition of a cappuccino and croissant was created.

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