Sunday, December 26, 2010

History of Coffee

History of Coffee
From it legendary origins to modern times, coffee has been praised and valued for its taste and more importantly, its effects on arousal. As a result, this simple fruit of the coffee plant became the basis for an industry that has grown over the centuries to multibillion dollar proportions.

World coffee exports average six million tons annually or over 200 million bags of coffee beans.

Although humans have been drinking coffee for centuries it is not clear just where coffee originated or who first discovered it.

However, the predominant legend has it than an observant goatherd named Kaldi discovered coffee in the Ethiopian highlands. Various dates for this legend include 900 BC, 800 BC, 300 AD and 800 AD.

Regardless of the actual date, it is said that Kaldi noticed that his goat did not sleep at night after eating berries from what would later be known as a coffee tree.

When Kaldi reported his observation to the local monastery, the abbot became the first person to brew a batch of coffee and note its alerting effect when he drank it.

The world of the arousing effects and pleasant taste of this new beverage soon spread beyond the monastery initially east to the Arabian Peninsula and eventually throughout the world.

The story of Kaldi might be more fable than fact, but at least some historical evidence indicates that coffee did originate in the Ethiopian highlands. Indeed most, of not all, coffees have been traced to that part of the world, whether they are now grown in Asia, Africa, Central and South America or Pacific and Caribbean Islands.

The first know reference to coffee in Arabic writings came from an Islamic physician, Abu Bakr Muhammad Ibn Zakariya ‘El Razi (know as “Rhazes”), who wrote a now lost medical textbook circa 900 AD.

Rhazes made first reference to what can be reliably identified as coffee, and archeologists have found iron roasting pans dating 1000 AD. However, Rhazes’ textbook has been lost to the ages, and only more recent references in other Arabian literature exist citing his book.

The oldest extant accounts of coffee roasting date to the writings of the famous Islamic physician Ibn Sina, traditionally referred to in English-Language texts by his Latinized name, “Avicenna.”

Avicenna’s praises of coffee were published in Arabic circa 1000 AD and translated into Latin circa 1200 AD.
History of Coffee

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