Hey Guys, Coffee and alcohol… those seem to be the two things that will
really help you get through the holidays with your family. Coffee to get you
through last night’s hangover, the last minute present shopping where you run
into that person you haven’t seen from high school in forever (and of course
you’re not wearing makeup!), and the endless and endless amounts of grocery
shopping. The alcohol is to get you through those family dinners that end up
being full of more grilling than the CIA’s interrogation technique. Which leads
us right back to coffee! That being said I recently read the
by Michael Jordan (not the basketball player sportsfans...)
and found out some amazing Factoids (Factoids!!!!) about the history of coffee
and thought I would share.
- Coffee is the second most widely marketed source of caffeine (behind tea).
The average cup of coffee delivers between 65 and 115 milligrams of caffeine
(tea is unlikely to contain more than 60 milligrams).
- Historical records from as early as 900 BC show that the Arab nations were
the first to drink a beverage made from the crushed beans soaked in boiling
water (coffee is even mentioned in the Koran).
- The best-known legend about how coffee was discovered is about is an
Ethiopian goat herder named Kaldi. Kaldi (not having a ton of distractions as a
goat herder) began to notice how lively and energetic his goats became after
eating some reddish-colored berries. Kaldi was tempted to eat some of the
berries himself and when he did he discovered that it was not only the goats
which remained alert and active. So being a good servant of God Kaldi passed
his newly found secret to the local monastery. The monks were naturally
interested in any stimulants for staying awake during long periods of
meditation and prayer, so they began to experiment for themselves. Even though
they quickly learned that chewing the beans was definitely not the most
enjoyable way of taking coffee it took several centuries for the advantage of
roasting the beans to gain approval (probably somewhere around 1000 - 1200
- Coffee cultivation began sometime during the 1600s in Yemen, and from the
beginning the industry was carefully controlled throughout the Middle East
(much in the way tea was in China or petroleum is these days). The
coffee-growing countries placed a strict prohibition on the export of coffee
plants or seeds that could be germinated, only allowing the sale of infertile
sun-dried or roasted beans. The Arab monopoly remained strong until viable
saplings were smuggled out of the Arab port of Mocha (the origin of the name
Mocha coffee) to Amsterdam during the early part of the 17th century. These
illegal plants were then shipped to the Dutch East Indies and the first coffee
production outside the Arab world began on the island of Java and Amsterdam
became the internationally recognized trading center for coffee.
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