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The history of coffee and how it spread around the world is now a great legend; Even the story of how we know it today is like a mix of fact and myth. Legend has it that important discoveries like this often took place in faraway lands that received ample sunlight for long periods of time. Maybe we’ll never know exactly how coffee was discovered so quickly after the first sunrise, but it’s undeniable that it helped change our lives forever.
Those who took the first sip of this spirit-like beverage had their personalities changed as if they had been abducted by aliens – that mysterious potion had taken over both their minds and their hearts in an instant! They were blacklisted as forbidden fruit and tried to dissuade their peers from consuming too much caffeine. Let’s take a look at this story and the history behind coffee together.
Coffee! Without this bitter drink, many things would be missing in our lives: Snowy days, enjoying the moment and, above all, motivation to start the day! It’s incredible to think that coffee was discovered a thousand years ago. Although there is no clear information, it is thought that the origins of Arabica come from South Sudan and Ethiopia, while Robusta comes from West Africa. In times when the use of coffee beans was unknown, coffee cherries and leaves were used for their refreshing properties. During long periods away from home in the vast expanses of Africa, wandering herders mixed coffee beans with oil and spices to keep their energies alive. They had to be vigilant to avoid losing their herd to wild animals. So what they needed was caffeine. They achieved this by mixing coffee leaves with cherry bark and boiling them.
Some African slaves were known to carry coffee with them when transported to Yemen and Arabia. In the 1400s, the Sufis in these regions drank tea made from coffee cherries called “quishr” or “Arab wine” to stay awake while performing night prayers. Shortly after the stimulating effects of this beverage became known, “schools of wisdom”, known today as “coffee houses”, were opened where traders and scientists could freely gather and interact while drinking this tea.
Of course, according to the religious beliefs of that period, “quishr” was not an easily accepted beverage. Some believers even claimed that this drink is incompatible with religious beliefs. But these “coffee shops” with which today’s people interact remained open. This is what made coffee popular. In the 16th century, the Arabs learned how to roast and grind the cherry seeds and carried the coffee consumed by almost the whole world to Turkey, Egypt, and North Africa, which were the important regions of that period.
Thanks to the coffee explorers who gave us this flavor for their attempts to stay awake.