Part of History in Your Cup of Coffee

Tags Coffee

What is Coffee:

The bitter, fragrant,necessary brew. Your ordinary cup of coffee. Not so ordinary in fact. The roasted beans which are ground before boiling are obtained from cherry red fruit of the coffee plant. The white flowers of the plant has a smell similar to that of Jasmine.


The coffee plant is native to Western Africa and some islands in the Indian Ocean which enjoys tropical weather around the year. Presently coffee is cultivated in more than 70 countries the world over. Mostly in regions near the equator, where the climatic conditions are perfect for the plant to thrive. 

The History of Coffee Consumption and The Ottoman Empire: 

The plant was first recognized in Ethiopia in the 11th century. The natives of the land consumed the drink made by boiling the leaves of a plant which they believed bore magic fruits. In no time, the recipe of this famed drink was known all over the Arabian Peninsula. By the turn of the 14th century coffee was cultivated as a cash in Yemen under the Ottoman Empire.


Political ties in between Turkey and Yemen during the rule of the Ottoman empire brought coffee to Istanbul. It was in Ottoman Turkey that a new technique was introduced in the manner of consumption of coffee. Caffeine, which is the essential ingredient in Coffee, was now extracted through the slow roasting and subsequent grounding of the beans. The effect was nothing short of a miracle, more in respect of the aroma than with the taste that was obtained from the brew. There was wind in the sales, as far as marketing of coffee was concerned. This drink from the tribes of Africa was now finding its place in the kitchens of the common population, as well as on elaborate dinner tables of the aristocrats. 

Coffee and Commerce:

Commerce was soon to take over, as coffee first came to Europe with traders at port cities like Venice and Marseilles. The rest of Europe and the Americas were to follow soon with the word of coffee spreading either through trade, travelers, scholars or conquest.

Introduction of Coffee in India:

Baba Budan was a sufi saint who lived during the 16th century. A man equally respected by people from all religions, whose shrine is at Baba Budangiri in Karnataka India. During the Ottoman period coffee beans were exported to the rest of the world only in roasted form. Subsequently the trade flourished as no one could grow their own coffee and had to buy from the Turks.

Baba Budan was returning from pilgrimage at Mecca. On having discovered the wonders of coffee, he is said to have smuggled 7 fresh beans from the port of Mocha at Yemen. The beans were planted at the place of his shrine. Thus coffee was introduced to India. 



Abhro Bhattacharjee

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