Random photos are my insertions.
The most famous legend of how coffee was discovered is the tale of Kaldi, an Abyssinian goatherd, who noticed one day that for no apparent reason his normally docile goats had suddenly become exceptionally lively. He discovered that they had been nibbling the berries of a nearby plant.
Bravely, Kaldi tasted the berries, and after some moments found to his amazement that he felt extraordinarily uplifted and invigorated. Convinced of a miracle, he rushed to the local monastery and excitedly told his tale to the abbot, showing him the berries, which he had crammed into his leather pouch.
The abbot, fearing that this was the devil’s work, flung the berries onto the fire, whereupon a wonderful and exotic aroma filled the air. That convinced him that this was God’s work, and the abbot ordered that the beans be swiftly raked from the fire. Several monks immediately rescued the beans. They were then mixed with water so that all the monks of the monastery could partake of this miracle.
Coffee beans grew wild in Abyssinia and Arabia. Before the 10th century, they were eaten by wandering tribesmen. They had discovered the alluring properties of coffee as a stimulant. These tribesmen squashed the ripe fruit of the coffee plant, mixed it with animal fat and shaped the mixture into round balls. They carried these balls with them and ate them at intervals on their long journeys. The practice of enjoying coffee as a drink came later.
By the 13th century, coffee drinking was an everyday occurrence in Arabia, where coffeehouses became very popular. These establishments had a very relaxed atmosphere, usually with music and gambling. Philosophers, politicians and tradesmen gathered in the coffeehouses to discuss the events of the day and exchange ideas.
However, the coffeehouses of that day caused the rulers great concern, as they feared plots and intrigue against their rule might be hatched there. The rulers tried several times to close down the coffeehouses, but to no avail. With the increased popularity of coffee drinking, it eventually spread to people’s homes, where it evolved into an elaborate ceremony.
Coffee was introduced into Europe in Venice in 1615; from there, it spread throughout Europe. Coffee soon reached Rome, where, initially, it was condemned by the clergy as the drink of the devil. Feelings about it ran so high that Pope Clement VIII asked for a sample of the brew, hoping to resolve the matter once and for all.
One sip, however, revealed how delightful drinking coffee was, and he realized how foolish it would be to banish it from the Christian world forever. So the pope immediately blessed the drinking of coffee. With papal approval, the growth of coffee drinking in Italy was assured, and soon thereafter the first European coffeehouses opened.
In 1637 a Turkish immigrant established the first coffee house in English, at Oxord. Soon afterwards another coffee house opened in London and gradually many towns in Great Britain had coffee houses. They were identifiable by the aroma of roasting coffee and a painted sign haning outside the establishment. The signs usually featured a picture of a Turkish Coffee Pot or a Sultan’s Head. One of the most famous London coffee houses was Lloyds, which was the forerunner of Lloyds of London, the famous insurance company
The first record of coffee drinking in North America was in 1660 in the colony of New Amsterdam.
In Holland, coffee had become a popular home drink, as several Dutch colonies were growing coffee. Four years later, when the British took over New Amsterdam and renamed it New York, coffee drinking had caught on with not only the Dutch settlers, but also the British. Coffee had replaced beer at breakfast time.
The first coffeehouses in New York were modeled after their London counterparts. However, they were more like taverns, as they had rooms for rent, served meals and sold ale, wine, hot chocolate and teas as well as coffee. The more important coffeehouses had meeting rooms — some large enough to conduct auctions. Gradually, it became custom for men to carry on their business at the coffeehouse and then adjourn to a nearby tavern for entertainment.
Today, Starbucks, which is named after the first mate in Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick,” has 19,435 stores in 58 countries. More than 12,00 of those are in the United States. The company was founded in Pike Place Market in Seattle in March 1971 by two teachers and a writer — Jerry Baldwin, Gordon Bowker and Zev Siegal. The trio was inspired by Al Peet, a California entrepreneur in the coffee business, and started out buying roasted beans from him. It was not long before the men began buying and roasting their own beans.
By 1984 the trio had purchased Peet’s and expanded its headquarters to the magnificent old Sears building in Seattle. Today, the more than 12,000 U. S. Starbucks stores are not only stand-alone entities, but are also located in many bookstores, such as Barnes and Noble.
So....are you a coffee lover too? I drink lite Maxwell House (half the caffeine of regular) most of the time, and I drink it black. I love the aroma of coffee. I love holding a mug to warm my hands when they're chilled but I drink it all summer long too. Every morning that I am home I have Dannon coffee yogurt to start my day. My favorite flavor of ice cream? You guessed it!
I don't really look like the creature in the last photo, but I would get squirrelly if I had to forage for coffee.