Coffee growing and drinking was globally initiated in the Horn of Africa. Coffee trees were originated in the Ethiopian province of Kaffa as the tale suggests. It is believed that the fruit of the tree known as
coffee cherries was eaten by Slaves taken from Sudan into Yemen and Arabia of today.
Coffee was cultivated into Yemen by the 15th century or probably much earlier. Arabs imposed a ban on the export of fertile coffee beans, to prevent its cultivation elsewhere. That restriction was ultimately circumvented in 1616 by the Dutch,
who brought black coffee plants to Netherlands.
Coffee drinking was initially encouraged by Yemen authorities, first coffee house or
Kevah kanes was in MECCA and did not take long to spread the Arab world. Main target market for coffee initially was places where chess was played, gossip were exchanged and singing, dancing and music were enjoyed.
People had never experienced anything else like that before; a place where social and business world were united in a relaxed and comfortable manner and a place where anyone could have their fun only at a price of coffee.
BY the late 16th century Dutch were growing coffee after they took some plants to Batavia in Java, current Indonesia. Dutch colonies were the main supplies of coffee in Europe with in few years.
This was also the time when two more very famous beverages appeared in Europe. Hot Chocolate was the first which was brought from Americas to Spain by the Spanish in 1528; and Tea, which was first sold in Europe in 1610. Coffee was originally sold by lemonade
vendors and was thought to have medicinal qualities. Venice was honoured by the first coffee house in Europe in 1683, with the most famous Caffe FLorian in Piazza San Marco, opening in 1720, which opens for business even today.
The first coffee being drunk in North America was in 1668, and after a while coffee houses were established in New York, Philadelphia, Boston and other Town.
In 1720 a French naval officer named Gabriel Mathieu de Clieu, during his leave in Paris acquired a coffee tree with the purpose of taking it with him on the return voyage. Plant was secured in a glass case on deck to prevent from damage and to keep it warm.
De Clieu writes in his novel, “that journey proved eventful although ship was threatened by Tunisian pirates, there was a fierce storm during the journey and plant had to be tied down” but De Clieu ensured that the plant survive all the tough conditions
and he kept on providing the plant with the precious water.
Finally, the ship arrived in Martinique and the tree was replanted, it grew and in 1726 the first harvest was prepared and by 1777 there were between 18 and 19 million coffee trees on Martinique.
Continued to part 2…