History - MC Grecof

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Coffee was first discovered in Northern Africa in an area we know today as Ethiopia. A popular legend refers to a goat herder by the name of Kaldi, who observed his goats acting unusually frisky after eating berries from a bush. Curious about this phenomenon, Kaldi tried eating the berries himself. He found that these berries gave him a renewed energy. The news of this energy-laden fruit quickly spread throughout the region. This is only a legend and there is a version in which Kaldi was Arabian and not Ethiopian. For centuries coffee beans were chewed raw in Ethiopia and in what today is the country of Yemen, located in the in the Southern Arabian peninsula. The first cultivated coffee plant was found by Europeans in Yemen and facts support trade between Yemen and Ethiopia as early as 800 BC. Additionally, evidence does not support the plant would grow wild in Yemen. Although, it is possible that a large bird could have carried the berry that far, but it is not likely. Arabs were the first to discover how to make coffee using boiling water and green beans. But green beans do not give up the coffeeols because the chemical change caused by roasting has not taken place. One can start to trace the history of coffee from the words used to name it. Kaffa which is a town in Ethiopia where it is believed coffee originated. Harrar, another city in Ethiopia which types of coffee are named after.

Any way, coffee didn't become super popular over a large area until the Ottoman Sultan in Istanbul outlawed it in 1543 because it started to get more recognition than he wanted. Then it boomed. In 1554, the first coffee house was set up in Istanbul. The Ottoman empire, by its police power, had a big hand in spreading coffee throughout the European countries, Western Asia, and India. The extreme spread of coffee by outlawing it is proof that you can't legislate something people like. In the case of coffee, the taste needs to be acquired. Coffee is naturally bitter. One must learn to drink coffee. You would think once coffee was outlawed and due to its bitter taste, coffee would have disappeared in the 16th century. This event is a true classical example of the best way to promote something is outlaw it. Around the later 1600's, the standard coffee beverage took Europe by storm. Of course, the invasion of Europe the Turks between 1683 and 1699 had a lot to do with it. Once in Europe this new beverage fell under harsh criticism from the Catholic Church. Many felt the pope should ban coffee, calling it the drink of the devil. To their surprise, the pope, already a coffee drinker, blessed coffee declaring it a truly Christian beverage.

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