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A Brief History of Coffee

A Brief History of Coffee

Coffee has its modern origin in the middle east and North Africa.  While coffee is indigenous to Ethiopia, its cultivation was first centered in the Arabian Peninsula.  By the 1500s coffee was being cultivated in Yemen, and drinking the coffee after roasting was well established.  Coffee did not reach turkey until about the 1600s where we find the Turkish variety of coffee brewing found today.  Coffee today is found throughout the Islamic world, and is frequently sipped at shisha bars filled with tobacco smoke.  Perhaps coffee was originally cultivated for use in conjunction with hashish to give the assassins an extra shot of courage before their expeditions. 

The first European coffee house opened in Rome in 1625 and did not reach England until 1650.  However, the stimulating and addictive drink multiplied in popularity and by 1675 there were three thousand coffee houses in England to the point where King Charles denounced them as seditious meeting places.  It seems that all places which promoted thought and discussion were always hated by the ruling class, while beverages such as alcohol which promote licentiousness and brain addledness and violence were always the preferred substances of the ruling regime. 

The first coffee plants grown outside of the Middle east was apparently in India, where a Muslim pilgrim smuggled it to India in the 1600s.  The dutch, known for their attraction to intoxicating substances, were the first Europeans to cultivate the plant in Sri Lanka in 1658 and then in Java in 1711. 

From here, Coffee was propogagted in the ASmsterdam Botanical Gardens where the variety grown there was later classified as Coffea Arabic var arabic, as opposed to teh french variety which was known as a bourbon.  These two type of coffee are the main varieties of coffee grown in Hawaii.  Other varieties include Coffea canephora, which is also known as robusta coffee -- or dunkin donuts coffee, and Liberica coffee, which is know for its thick trunk.