"Coffee is the common Gold, and like Gold it brings every person the feeling of luxury and nobility." Sheikh Ansari Djezeri Hanball Abd-al-Kadir, known as The Saint of Coffee, who wrote the earliest known manuscript on the history of coffee in 1587
On The coffee trail
More than 1.5 billion cups of coffee are drunk worldwide every day enough to fill nearly 300 Olympic-size swimming pools. If you don’t have a jar of coffee in your kitchen, you're minatory.
More than 1,200 years ago hardworking people fought to stay awake without this stimulant drink until. as the story goes. a herd of curious goats and their Shepherd, an Arab named Khalid, discovered this simple, life-changing substance. As his goats grazed on the Ethiopian slopes, he noticed they became more lively and excited after eating a particular berry! Instead of just eating the berries, people build them to create “al-qahwa”.
Sufis in Yemen drank al-qahwa for the same reasons we do today, to stay awake, It helped them to concentrate during a late night in Salat dhekir (prayers in remembrance of Allah)
Coffee was spread to the rest of the Muslim world by travellers, pilgrims, and traders. Reaching Mecca and Turkey in the late 15th century and Cairo in the 16th century.
It was a merchant named Pasqua Rosee with Turkish trader he met in Anatolia who first brought coffee to England in 1650, selling it in a coffeehouse in George-yard, Lombard Street. London. Eight years later, another coffeehouse called Sultaness Head was opened in Cornhill Lloyd's of London. Today a famous insurance company, was originally a coffee shop called Edward Lloyd's Coffee House. By 1700, there were about 500 coffeehouses in London. and nearly 3,000 in the whole of England. They were known as “penny universities" because you could listen and talk with the great minds of the day for the price of a coffee.
Some even said that the Ottoman sultan didn't allow a coffee bean to leave their main harbour in Yemen without being roasted but that didn't last very long.
The consumption of coffee in Europe was largely based on the traditional Muslim preparation of the drink. This entailed boiling the mixture of coffee powder, sugar, and water together, which left a coffee residue in the cup because it was not filtered. However, in 1683, a new way of preparing and drinking coffee was discovered, and it became a coffeehouse favourite.
Cappuccino coffee was inspired by Marco D'Aviano. a priest from the Capuchin monastic order, who was fighting against the Turks besieging Vienna in 1683. Following the retreat of the Turks, the Viennese made coffee from abandoned sacks of Turkish coffee. Finding it too strong for their taste, they mixed it with cream and honey. This made the colour of coffee turn brown, resembling the colour of the Capuchins’ robes. Thus, the Viennese named it cappuccino in honour of Marco D’Aviano’s order. Since then, cappuccino has been drunk for its enjoyable, smooth taste.
The first coffeehouse in Europe appeared in Venice in 1645, after coffee came to Europe through trade with North Africa and Egypt. Edward Lloyd's Coffee House in London, established in the late 17th century, was a meeting place for merchants and shipowners. Coffeehouses became forerunners of today’s pubs. They were the places where the public discussed political affairs and also gave rise to the liberal movement.
Happy Reading! Ibrahim Othman