- Coffee in the New World 5. An illegal drink
- The original taste of coffee 6. A long journey to Europe
- A chance discovery 7. Growing coffee plants
- A place for communication 8. Different recipes
A. Coffee was first found in Eastern Africa in the area we know today as Ethiopia. A popular legend says that one day a man called Kaldi was watching his goats eating grass and leaves. He noticed that after eating berries from a certain bush the goats became very active. Curious, Kaldi tried the berries himself. He found that these berries gave him additional energy. The story quickly spread throughout the region.
B. The first coffee berries were transported from Ethiopia to Arabian countries and then they were cultivated in Yemen. From there, coffee travelled to Turkey where coffee beans were roasted for the first time over open fires. The roasted beans were crushed and then boiled in water, creating the drink we enjoy today. Finally, in the seventeenth century coffee arrived in France, Britain and Italy.
C. The first coffeehouses opened in Mecca and quickly became popular centres of social and political activity. The government believed that coffee stimulated radical thinking, and the governor even thought it might unite his opposition. As a result, coffee was forbidden in Mecca. The same thing happened in Turkey a century later, when coffee drinkers were severely punished.
D. They say, in 1776 the thirteen American colonies adopted coffee as their national drink instead of tea. When the British tried to raise the tax on tea, Americans refused to buy it and switched to coffee. In fact, by drinking coffee Americans demonstrated their political views and their dislike for the British – the famous tea-lovers.
E. The Italians drink their espresso with sugar, the Germans and Swiss add an equal part of hot chocolate, the Mexicans prefer it with cinnamon, and the Belgians – with chocolate. Coffee drinkers in the Middle East usually add cardamom and spices. The Egyptians, on the other hand, are extremely fond of pure, strong coffee. They add neither milk nor cream.
F. Plain and simple, nothing else. People discovered that if they drank coffee slowly they could taste bitterness, sourness, sweetness and saltiness. For a long time such a taste was new and more than enough. It needed no improvement. Only later did they start experimenting with coffee by adding milk, chocolate, and other flavors. However, nothing can hide the taste of real coffee.
G. When the first European coffeehouses opened, they quickly grew into places where people played chess, exchanged gossip, sang and danced. Coffeehouses were very popular because anyone could go and enjoy a cup of the drink. The price of a cup of coffee was reasonable. European coffee houses became meeting points for intellectuals, writers and businessmen.