The Story Of Coffee
Green coffee is an agricultural commodity that is traded all over the world. Indeed, coffee is the second largest traded commodity in world after oil.
The original coffee tree was discovered by a shepherd in Aden south Yemen on the edge of the Arabian Peninsula. When the shepherd noticed his sheep became hyper when ingested the red berries, he tried it and found himself rejuvenated. He took the berries to his village and from that time the coffee came to light.The Yemenite villagers started to peel the berries and boil the green coffee as a daily drink.
When the Ottoman Empire took over Yemen in the 15th century, The Turk were impressed by the newly found drink and developed a new processing method of cultivating, roasting and brewing the coffee beans.Their efforts become known later as the“Turkish Coffee” which became the first processed and brewed cup of coffee in the world.
The Yemenites gave the name Kahwa to the new drink, and later on the names Kava, Café, or coffee were derived from the word “Kahwa” in Arabic.
Seeing a potential for the newly discovered agricultural products, the Arabs in Yemen started to cultivate and trade the coffee beans throughout the old world, and later to the new world through the colonial marine traders of the timenamely Spain, Portugal and later the Dutch.The Ottoman power in Yemen realized the strategic value of this new agricultural commodity,they tried to keep close control to prevent the fertile coffee plant from leaving their borders. They were successful for a while until it became overwhelming and thus, their efforts failed. The Spanish and Portuguese traders were able to smuggle the coffee plants to grow them allover their colonies; first in South and Central America, and later in Africa and Asia.
During the 17th century, Europe was in the Dark Age and the Ottoman Empire was a dominant power at the time. Europe was divided by principalities and ruled by territorial Barons, Dukes and Earls. They were all under the control of the Pope. Their citizens were poor, totally drunk and unaware of their abuse and misfortune. At that time, coffee introduced to Europe, and was called “Black Drink”.The magic of coffee,sobersthe mind and rejuvenate the drinkers. The European subjects realized their misfortunesfrom corruption,abuses of their rulers. These royal families felt the people’s pressure and thus complained to the Pope about the influence of the “Devilish Black Drink” which challenges their authority over their subjects. The Pope conceited to their demand and issued a religious decree prohibiting the drink of the “Devil “or the “Black Drink” meaning coffee.
The coffee was prohibited in Europe until late 18th century when the Pope have the first visit to South America where he was offered their local drink, coffee. The Pope was not aware of the devil’s Black Drink when he expressed his enjoyment from drinking coffee. When the pope was told that the coffee is prohibited by the Church in Europe, he rescinded the Church rule on coffee upon his return.
Since then, coffee proliferated Europe and became the daily grind of the Europeans.