Coffee arguably is one of the most loved beverages in the world. Although the word cafe and its impact on society can be a recent phenomenon, you can trace it to an interesting history.
Coffee has not only popped as a spiritual intoxicant to an exotic stimulant. Let us check a few facts about this interesting beverage that has the world hooked on its intoxicating aroma and amazing taste.
A Discovery by Excited Goats
Kaldi was a lonely goat herder in ninth-century Ethiopia. He discovered the many wonderful benefits of coffee when he saw his goats eating some berries and getting all excited about it. Kaldi told this news to the Abbot of the local monastery. The Abbot soon came up with the idea of drying and boiling the berries to make a stimulating beverage. The Abbot threw the berries into the fire. Soon the wonderful aroma of the beans started drifting through the night air.
The well-roasted beans were raked from the embers, ground up, and then dissolved in hot water and became the world’s favorite beverage. The Abbot and the monks also found out how it kept them awake for hours at an end, just the thing they needed to help them keep agog while they prayed for long hours. Word soon spread out, and it even reached the Arabian peninsula. However, a Yemenite Sufi mystic, Ghothul Akbar Nooruddin Abu al-Hasan al-Shadhili, also claimed to discover coffee.
The Beverage of Choice in Many Countries
By the 16th century, coffee became famous in various countries such as Persia, Egypt, Syria, and Turkey. Its reputation for being the wine of Araby spread far and wide. There were thousands of pilgrims visiting the holy city of Mecca each year from all over the Muslim world who sang paeans about the beverage.
Yemeni merchants traveled with coffee brought it home from Ethiopia and grew it. It was a drink of choice for Sufis in Yemen who drank it to increase concentration and spiritual intoxicants. This kept them awake during their nighttime devotions.
Traveling from the Middle East, it spread to the Balkans, Italy, and the rest of Europe, east to Indonesia and then west to the Americas, via the Dutch.
A Social Revolution, Thanks to Coffee
Coffee was such a powerful force that it caused a social revolution. Coffee was a popular domestic beverage. Besides that, it was also a popular beverage in countless public coffee houses, qahveh khaneh, that sprang up in villages, towns, and cities across the Middle East and East Africa. These coffee houses almost became a rage and were the place to socialize.
All manner of entertainment complemented coffee drinking and conversation. This includes musical performances, dancing, games of chess. Besides that, it also helped people indulge in gossiping, arguing, and discussing the day’s breaking news over a cup of steaming beverage. These coffee houses were also popular as the schools of the wise. They firmly established the link between coffee and intellectual life. It was the place you would want to go to if you wanted to know the various news of the world.
Conquering Wars with Coffee
Islam’s most famous prophet encountered a magical world while sipping the magical beverage. Legend has it that Archangel Gabriel visited Muhammad himself. The stimulating concoction was a gift. It gave him enough strength to continue his journey and slay over 40 enemies.
Even today, Arabic regions enjoy coffee and deeply associate with Muhammad. As per, Ancient folklore all it took was one sip by Muhammad to reach victory.
Omar the Healer’s Tryst with Coffee
Omar the Healer lived in Yemen as an aide, curing the sick through the power of meditation and prayer. He survived on strange little red berries he came over after being banished from his hometown of Mocha.
When word traveled back to Mocha that Omar survived the banishment because of the magical potion, he had the opportunity to come back. After finding the taste of coffee too bitter, he roasted the berries and drank the water, even cooking in them. Omar became a local hero for his findings.
The magic of coffee lives on. These interesting tidbits prove that coffee will continue to weave its magic on coffee lovers worldwide, whether it is the past, present, or future.