History

According to the most common legend, tonic properties of coffee were discovered by Ethiopian shepherd named Kaldi, who noticed, that after eating the dense leaves and red berries in day, his goatsbehave excitedly at night for no apparent reason. He told about this strange case to the monastery abbot, who decided to try the effect of unusual grains by himself.

The abbot was struck by powerful influence of the beverage. In order to keep up vivacity of the monks falling asleep during the night prayers, he commanded them to drink this decoction. The obtained beverage relieved fatigue and gave fresh strength. 

The discovery of coffee approximately dated by 850AD, but its full recognition came many centuries later. Initially for brewing the tonic decoction the raw coffee berries were used rather than roasted grains. A bit later the Yemenis began to brew up dried pulp of the coffee fruit, getting “geshir” (or kishr) - the so-called “white Yemeni coffee.” Ethiopians were finally expelled from the Arabian Peninsula in the XI century. During their reign Arabs learned much from original and rich Ethiopian culture, including habit of coffee consumption. At the beginning Arabs prepared it in a method that greatly differs from the modern one. They crushed coffee grains and mixed them with animal fat and milk. They rolled the ready mixture into balls and took them as a tonic cure when setting out.

It was only the XII century, when people started preparing the drink from raw coffee grains, and even few centuries more passed before it has become a common thing to pluck the fruits of coffee tree, dry the grains with subsequent roasting and grinding, and to fill the obtained powder with hot water. Arabs added to this beverage various spices such as ginger and cinnamon or even mixed it with milk.

  • In 1475 in Constantinople the first specialized coffee shop “Kiva Han” started its work. Afterwards, in 1564 in Istanbul the first public café was opened.
  • The popularity of coffee in Europe began in Vienna since 1683 and is associated with the name of Ukrainian merchant (former Kozak) Yuriy Franz Kulchytskiy. In the same 1683 when the siege of Vienna by Turks had reached its critical point, Yuriy Franz Kulchytskiy dressed in Turkish clothes, passed the cordons of hostile army and led the Allied troops to help the besieged city. In 1684 he received a title of honored citizen of Vienna. As a reward, he asked to give him 300 bags of coffee beans seized from Turks. Actually Yuri Kulchytskiy was one of the first unrecognized classics of advertising. He personally popularized coffee carrying it through the city in Turkish clothes, invented the bagel which was eaten by citizens of Vienna as a revenge to Turks, and in 1684 in Vienna he published a book of his memoirs, that immediately became a best seller in Europe. In 13 of August, 1684Kulchytskiy opened the first café in Vienna. He adapted Turkish coffee to European taste by adding sugar and milk, and created the famous “Viennese coffee” – beverage that conquered all of Europe. In couple of years Armenian Prokop opened the first coffee house in Paris, and soon after Europe was gripped by real coffee boom. 
  • The great composer Johann Sebastian Bach wrote a humorous "Coffee Cantata" on poems by German poet Pikandera, which was first performed in 1734.
  • It was Peter I who introduced a custom of coffee drinking in Russia.
  • In the XVIII century, Europeans brought the coffee tree saplings in many tropical countries around the world. Now most of the coffee produced in Brazil, Colombia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Mexico, India and Ethiopia.
  • In 1899, the Swiss chemist Max Morgenthaler created instant coffee that came into use in the 40-ies of the XX century.

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Information

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