as promised from last month's Tea Time, equal time for coffee.

by Debbi Collar


It could be said "kids" in Ethiopia were the first to discover coffee.

Literally translated, the definition of "kids," being goats.  

As legend has it, Kaidi, a goatherd watched as his goats happily pranced
from bush to bush. Curious, he, too, tasted the "fruit" of the coffee bush and
was soon dancing with the goats. A nearby monk noticed how energetic
Kaidi and the goats were after eating from the bushes. He plucked a few
berries for himself and his brothers at the monastery. That night,the red
berries consumed by the monks kept the brothers awake and alert leading
some to say this "food" was the cause of their alertness spilling over  into  
what is said to have been the reason behind their "divine inspirations."

Arabica or Robusta, caffeinated or decaffeinated, bold, these words describe
your morning, afternoon or evening coffee. Whichever your favorite, have
you ever stopped to think about those responsible for combining the beans
with the hot water? Who was it that determined the beans could be ground,
the water boiled and the combination of the boiled bean brew would be a
morning favorite for centuries to come?

The answers vary depending on the source.

National Geographic indicates, " Arabs were the first to cultivate coffee on
the Arabian Peninsula." The Arabic people boiled the coffee.  The word
"qahwa" is the Arabic word for coffee and literally translated means, "the
wine of Islam."

Meanwhile, the Dutch are credited in other reports, for their role in being the
first to enter the coffee trade.  They imported plants from the Malabar Coast
of India to their colonies, which, at that time, were called the Dutch East
Indies-currently known as Indonesia.

Now that you, our Melrose Mirror readers, know the legend of the
origin of coffee, impart your knowledge to those in lengthy lines at your
favorite coffee shop as you are waiting patiently for your favorite
"cup of Joe."

National Geographic and Good Housekeeping magazines are both credited
with once examining the said origins of coffee. Each came up with a
lengthy list of facts.  We will share just a few from their lengthy and detailed

Coffee was the first food to be freeze dried.

What you now drink was once considered a food. Yes,coffee,once considered
a food as the berries were combined with fat to create an energy rich snack
ball.  It was also consumed as a wine when made from the
pulp of the berries.  

The original definition of coffee means "wine," "Qahwa," came from the
Yemen term for wine. In Turkey, it was called "kahveh."  The Dutch definition
was "koffie" and the English term, "coffee."

Coffee is actually a fruit. Coffee beans are actually the pits of a cherry like
berry. These berries grow on bushes.  Even though coffee is actually a seed,
it's called a bean because of its resemblance to actual beans.

The world's first coffee shop opened in Constantinople in 1475.

During world War II American Soldiers were called G.I. Joes. At that time they
were said to have consumed large amounts of coffee, therefore, the drink
earned the name "cup of Joe".

There was a time when various countries attempted to ban coffee.

In 1511, the Governor of Mecca, Kheir Bey tried to ban it. He feared it might
encourage resistance to his rule.

While some monks urged Pope Clemente VII to outlaw what was once
considered "the Muslim's drink," imported from Arabia through Venice, in the
1600s, the Pope argued that the drink was "so good" that it would be "a sin"
to "only let pagans drink it."  Coffee then began to spread across

Charles II in Europe banned the drink in an attempt to quiet an ongoing

Frederick the Great, banned coffee in Germany in 1677 because he was
concerned people were spending so much money on it.

Centuries later and judging from the numerous varieties of coffee shops in
existence today, it can safely be said that those bans did not work then
and would not work today.

November 6, 2015

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