History of Coffee: pre and post 3000 BCE

“The Age of the Pyramids”

The History of Coffee
starts in ancient Ethiopia.

Ethiopia is considered the birthplace of coffee: it is in the
forests of the Kaffa region that coffea arabica grew wild. Coffee is
“Bun” or “Buna” in Ethiopia, so Coffee Bean is quite
possibly a poor anglicized interpretation of “Kaffa Bun”. Coffea
Arabica was also found in the Harar region quite early, either brought from the
Kaffa forests or found closer by. In relating the History of Coffee, it is
entirely possible that slaves taken from the forests chewed coffee berry and
spread it into the Harar region, through which the Muslim slave trade route
passed. 
Reference: History of
Coffee Source Link

The lands south of the Sahara did not have the same native
vegetation and thus could not have simply borrowed techniques of domestication
from their northern neighbors. In these lands of ‘summer rains,’ soils and
seasons as well as plants were markedly different. Probably, in the history of
coffee,  the earliest site of
domestication in the lands south of the emerging Sahara and north of the great
forest, was highland Ethiopia, where a kind of banana, a species of millet, and
the coffee bean formed a ‘cradle of agriculture.’ In the Sudannic belt other
species of millet, the black-eyed pea, and okra were among the plants brought
under cultivation by people who were increasingly attracted to the better
rainfall south of a drying Sahara after 3000 BCE. This groups of plants is
known as the ‘Sudannic cradle of agriculture.’ In the more humid lands near the
Atlantic coast an African species of rice was cultivated at an early date. In
modern-day Nigeria, where the forest meets the savanna, crops such as yams,
kola and palm kernels were found suitable for the woodland districts before
2000 BCE, and perhaps much earlier. These form the cradle associated with the
Guinea Neolithic.
Reference: History of
Coffee Source Link

History
of Coffee: post 2000 BCE

A rare and exotic healthy coffee that has been used for millennia
among the village people of Africa’s Great Rift Valley along the coast of the
Biblical Red Sea has been found.

This treasure in the history of coffee, a rare coffee bean from
the remote mountains of Ethiopia is said to be a secret botanical with powerful
healing and weight loss properties. This mysterious African plant produces a
coffee called MoyoJava in the native language of Swahili. Translated, it means
“healing coffee” and according to new study results, it does indeed
seem to have curiously strong healing and weight-loss properties. 
Reference: History of
Coffee Source Link

History
of Coffee: post 1200 BCE

Villagers in the region believe that MoyoJava Coffee fields were
originally planted over 3000 years ago and harvested for the Egyptian Pharaoh
Ramses III (Years of Reign: 1182 BC – 1151 BC) for their healthful properties.
The Egyptians believed that the red soil that runs into the Biblical Red Sea is
the source of this mysterious healing power.

A group of botanical scientists studying the MoyoJava Coffee
phenomenon are of the opinion in viewing the history of coffee, that in over
2000 years of superior plant selection by growers, or the rare minerals found
in the ancient red mountains, or both, are responsible as a possible
explanation. They go on to say, we have much to learn about the MoyoJava Coffee
bean and its healing properties and how it might benefit humanity. For now we
will just have to settle for a cup of good coffee.

History
of Coffee: post 700 BCE

In the Old Testament, the parched corn that Abigail gave David and
that Boaz gave Ruth is said to have been coffee and later, in Ancient Greece,
the Lacedaemonians (Spartans) already drank massive amounts of the famous black
broth to give them energy during the siege; it could have been coffee. In the
Odyssey, which was written by Homer 700 years before the birth of Christ, it’s
mentioned that Helen of Troy mixed nepenthes with wine to banish sadness and
wrath from her heart, it was probably also coffee. I’m inclined to believe that
early in the history of coffee, the Greeks could have known about coffee by
then because they had a lot of interaction with the various Babylonian nations
of Asia and North Africa.
Reference:
History of Coffee Source Link

History
of Coffee: post 40 AD

The story
of coffee history becomes enmeshed

in ancient Coptic Monasticism.

Strictly speaking, the purely Coptic Christian period extends for
about six centuries at the dawn of the Christian era.

Sometime between 48 AD and 61 AD St. Mark, a disciple of Jesus
Christ, of African origin and the writer of the earliest Gospel, came to Egypt
ushering in the dawn of Christian faith.

Egypt is known to be the Motherland of Christian Monasticism. As
Professor Atiya says “It is truly the gift of Egypt to Christendom.”
Monasticism sprang into existence in Egypt as early as the second half of the
third century, and as you will see soon it became enmeshed in the history of
Coffee. In a few decades, it spread over the whole Christian world.

The characteristics which shaped Coptic monasticism are:

a) The urge to pray without ceasing,

b) The hunger to meditate on the word of God, and

c) The disciplining of one’s self by fasting, vigils, celibacy,
the subduing of fleshly desires, willful poverty and the renunciation of worldly
concerns.
Reference:
History of Coffee Source Link

History
of Coffee: post 200 AD

Another version of the story is that coffee was brought to Arabia
from Ethiopia by Sudanese slaves who chewed the berries en route to help them
survive their journey; but they could also have ground the coffee, mixed it
with butter and eaten it like chocolate, a method popular with the Galla tribes
of Ethiopia. The practice of mixing ground coffee beans with ghee persists to
this day in some parts of Kaffa and Sidamo, two of the principle coffee
producing regions of Ethiopia. In Kaffa, coffee is still brewed today with the
addition of melted ghee, which gives it a distinctive, buttery flavor.
Reference: History of
Coffee Source Link

History
of Coffee: post 251 AD

Most historians consider St. Anthony (251-356 AD) to be the first
to renounce the world and retire to the eastern desert of Egypt. It is true
that, as a movement, monasticism was started by St. Anthony. However, long
before that, organized flights to the deserts of Egypt took place. Just as an
example, “Acta Sanctorum” tells us that in the second century, a
wealthy Alexandrian Christian called Frantonius decided to reject the world. He
was able to persuade seventy others to accompany him. They all went to the
Nytria desert and there they led a life of prayer and contemplation. 
Reference:
History of Coffee Source Link

Coptic monasticism
developed through 3 stages

1.
Anthonian Monasticism:

This is the first stage whereby a pious Christian lives in seclusion, a life of
asceticism and austerity, disciplining the body to elevate the soul.

2.
Collective Hermitism or Semi-Anchoritism:

St. Anthony’s disciples continued to lead solitary lives in the neighborhood of
his cave. As their number grew larger, there was a great necessity to have many
settlements of anchorites in that area of the desert. Each settlement
congregated around one of those great and rare holy masters for reasons of security.

3.
Pachomian Koinonia or Cenobitism:

The general trend of the Pachomian system showed the soldier and the holy man
combined in one person. Every detail of the monk’s activity by day or night was
prescribed by the proctor: the brother’s dress, his food, the hours and manner
of his sleep, his travels, his hours of worship and a penal code to be
rigorously enforced against the derelict.

Coptic monasticism became known all over the world mainly because
of the biography that St. Athanasius wrote about St. Anthony. As a result,
pious men from many parts of the world flocked to these cenobite monasteries to
sit at the feet of those great spiritual giants and learn from them the art of
monasticism. Among those were Greeks, Romans, Cappadocians, Libyans, Nubians,
Ethiopians and many others. Each nationality was designated a special quarter
in each monastery with a fellow citizen as an abbot guide. There were no
barriers based on race, culture, color or language.
Reference:
History of Coffee Source Link

In contrast to Judaism, Christianity is a missionary religion. The
example and teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ, the preaching of the Disciples
to Jews and Gentiles and the mere fact of St. Mark’s preaching in Egypt spoke
to the Copts very emphatically about the missionary character of the Church.
Therefore, the missionary movement began in Egypt early in the first steps of
Christianity through its first converts.

In the early centuries, the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria
extended outside of her national boundaries and established the Coptic Orthodox
Church of Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Sudan.
Reference:
History of Coffee Source Link

History
of Coffee: post 251 AD

It is believed that Ethiopian monks were already chewing coffee
berries as a stimulant for centuries before it was brewed. Ethiopian records
establish that Ethiopian and Sudanese traders who traveled to Yemen chewed the
berries en route to their destination to survive the harsh difficult journey
creating a milepost in the history of coffee. Residents of Kaffa, as well as
other ethnic groups such as the Galla were also familiar with coffee. They
mixed ground coffee with butter, and consumed them for sustenance. This
practice of mixing ground coffee beans with ghee (clarified butter) to give it
a distinctive, buttery flavor persists to this day in parts of Kaffa and
Sidamo, two of the principle coffee producing regions of Ethiopia.
Reference:
History of Coffee Source Link

History
of Coffee: 400-500 AD

In the course of the third and fourth centuries, and with the rise
of monasticism, many Pachomian monks in the southern parts of Egypt were sent
to Nubia as missionaries. Those, along with some Coptic Christians who fled
from the Roman persecution, went southward up the Nile Valley to win converts
to Christ. It is intriguing to know that the whole kingdom was officially
converted to Orthodox Christianity in 559 AD.

However, the most spectacular event in Coptic mission work was the
Christianization of Abyssinia (Ethiopia) at the hands of Frumentius. He and his
brother Aedesius were Coptic Christians residing in Tyre. On one of their
trading trips to India, they had a shipwreck near Axoum, the Capital of
Abyssinia. They were taken to the king who appointed Aedesius as his cupbearer
and Frumentius as his personal secretary and the tutor of the young crown
prince Aeizanas. Frumentius taught Aeizanas the four R’s reading, writing,
arithmetic and religion- (Christianity). When Aeizanas became king, he was
converted to Christianity and decreed Christianity as the official religion of
the land. Immediately Frumentius went to Alexandria, to St. Athanasius the
Patriarch asking him to send a bishop to establish the Church there. St.
Athanasius chose Frumentius and ordained him, giving him the name of Bishop
Salama. Since then, the Ethiopian Church looks at the Coptic Church as its
Mother Church.
Reference:
History of Coffee Source Link

History
of Coffee: post 800 AD

Legend has it that 1,200 years ago, Kaldi, an Abyssinian goatherd,
discovered coffee berries in a forest in Ethiopia’s south-western highlands and
tasted them. He loved the feel-good effect that followed & took them to a
nearby monastery where he gave the head monk a handful of berries & told
him about their miraculous effect. The monk was convinced it came from the
devil and promptly threw them into the fire. Within minutes the monastery was
filled with the aroma of roasting beans causing the other monks to pour into
the room and probably exorcise the beans. It didn’t take them too long to rake
the beans out of the fire and crush them ‘to extinguish the embers’. Once the
devil had been banished from the beans, the head monk had a change of heart and
ordered the beans put in an ewer and covered with water to stop the burning
process. The unusual embers caused the water to heat up and an aroma, clearly a
gift from angels, was too good to resist and that same night the monks drank
the rich black liquid – from then onwards they drank it on a daily basis to
keep themselves awake during their nocturnal prayers. This story has
continually been repeated in the oral history of coffee. It seems more probable;
however, that the monks of Ethiopia chewed on the berries as a stimulant for
centuries before it was brewed as a hot drink.
Reference:
History of Coffee Source Link

History
of Coffee: post 890 AD

Brewed coffee, the dry, roasted, ground, non-alcoholic beverage is
described as Bunna (in Amharic), Bun (in Tigrigna), Buna (in Oromiya), Bono (in
Kefficho), and Kaffa (in Guragigna). Arabic scientific documents dating from
around 900 AD refer to a beverage drunk in Ethiopia, known as ‘buna.” This
is one of the earliest references in the history of coffee to Ethiopian coffee
in its brewed form. Bear in mind that the early Arabs were renowned for their
scientific knowledge.
Reference:
History of Coffee Source Link

History
of Coffee: post 900 AD

There are numerous versions of this story in the history of coffee
concerning the Sheikh Omar, which relate how he cured the King of Mocha’s
daughter with coffee, and another where a wondrous bird leads him to a tree
full of coffee berries.
Reference:
History of Coffee Source Link

History
of Coffee: post 1380 AD

Be that as it may, Arab slave traders eventually brought the seeds
back from their raids on Ethiopia and the Sufi (a mystical Islamic sect) were initially
responsible for the cultivation and distribution of coffee. There’s documented
proof in the history of coffee that a Sufi grand master, Ali Ben Omar al
Shadily, brought the coffee beans to Arabia. He had been living in Ethiopia for
quite some time before founding a monastery in the Yemenite port of Mocha (Al
Mukha) where he was later known as the saint of Mocha. It seems quite probable
in the oral history of coffee that the first cultivated plants did grow in the
monastery gardens of Yemen. From Ethiopia, the coffee beans crossed the Red Sea
and went on to Arabia. History and legend provide many tales about the history of
coffee and it’s use.
Reference:
History of Coffee Source Link

 (Archaeological excavations in the Emirate of Ras al-Khaimah,
situated close to Dubai on the coast of the Arabian Gulf, have revealed the
oldest coffee beans in the world. The beans were found in layers dated to the
early 12th century AD. The beans themselves owe their preservation to the fact
that they were carbonized through roasting in the 12th century.)
Reference:
History of Coffee Source Link

History
of Coffee: post 1450 AD

In 1454 the Mufti of Aden visited Ethiopia and saw his own
countrymen drinking coffee there. He was reportedly very impressed with the
drink that had cured him of some affliction and his approval made it popular
among the the Yemeni Whirling Dervishes (members of the Tariqah, a Sufi Muslim
ascetic sect), who used it in religious ceremonies and were responsible for
introducing it to the citizens of Mecca where the first coffee houses were
established. These coffee houses, beacons in the history of coffee,  became known as Kaveh Kanes and originally
were religious meeting places but soon became social meeting places for gossip,
singing and story-telling. With the spread of coffee as a popular beverage it
soon became a subject for heated debate among devout Muslims, keen to observe
the laws of their faith. The Arabic word for coffee, kahwah, is also one of
several words for wine. In the process of stripping the cherry husk, the pulp
of the bean was allowed to ferment and it ended up creating potent alcoholic
liquor.
Reference:
History of Coffee Source Link

History
of Coffee: post 1500 AD

The Quran forbids the use of intoxicants, but those Muslims in
favor of coffee quite rightly argued that coffee did not intoxicate, it
stimulated. The argument over coffee came to a head in 1511 AD in Mecca when
the governor of Mecca, Beg, saw some people drinking coffee in a mosque as they
prepared a night-long prayer vigil and became livid. He chased them from the
mosque and ordered all the coffee houses to be closed. Perhaps this was the
earliest prohibition in the history of coffee.

A heated debate ensued, with coffee being condemned as an
unhealthy brew by two rather unscrupulous and greedy Persian doctors, the
Hakimani brothers who were known to be dishonest and to lie for financial
advantage whenever it suited them. The doctors wanted it banned because many of
the depressed patients that would have paid these doctors large sums of money
to cure them, now simply drank a cup of coffee and felt much better.

The mufti of Mecca, on the other hand didn’t want it banned and
took the side of those that didn’t want the drink banned – after all, he was
drinking the stuff himself. The issue was finally resolved in a political
manner when the Sultan of Cairo intervened and reprimanded the Khair Beg for
banning a drink that was widely enjoyed in Cairo without consulting his
superior. In 1512 AD, when Khair Beg was accused of embezzlement, the Sultan
had him put to death and coffee survived in Mecca.
Reference:
History of Coffee Source Link

In Ethiopia’s province of Kaffa a large proportion of the arabica
trees grow wild amidst the rolling hills and forests of the fertile and
beautiful region. At an altitude of 1,500 meters the climate is ideal and the
plants are well protected by the larger forest trees which provide shade from
the midday sun and preserve the moisture in the soil. Traditionally, these are
the ideal conditions for coffee growing.
Reference:
History of Coffee Source Link

History
of Coffee: post 1500 AD

From the Arabian Peninsula coffee traveled to the East. The Arabs
are credited with first bringing coffee to Sri Lanka (Ceylon) as early as 1505
AD. It is said, in the oral history of coffee, that fertile coffee beans, the
berries with their husks unbroken, were first introduced into Southwest India
by one Baba Budan on his return from a pilgrimage to Mecca in the 17th century.

The picture of Arabic coffee houses as dens of iniquity and frivolity
was exaggerated by religious zealots at this time in the history of coffee. In
reality the Muslim world was the forerunner of the European Café society and
the coffee houses of London which became the famous London clubs. They were
meeting places for intellectuals, where news and gossip were exchanged and
clients were regularly entertained by traditional storytellers.

By 1517 coffee had reached Constantinople, following the conquest
of Egypt by Salim I, and by 1530, it was established in Damascus. Coffee houses
were opened in Constantinople in 1554, and their advent provoked
religiously-inspired riots that temporarily closed them creating another
prohibition in the history of coffee. But they survived their critics, and
their luxurious interiors became a regular rendezvous for those engaged in
radical political thought and dissent.
Reference: History of
Coffee Source Link

In the history of coffee, this was a period when the two other
globally significant hot beverages also appeared in Europe. Hot chocolate was
the first, brought by the Spanish from the Americas to Spain in 1528; and tea,
which was first sold in Europe in 1610. At first coffee was mainly sold by
lemonade vendors and was believed to have medicinal qualities.
Reference: History of
Coffee Source Link

History
of Coffee: post 1550 AD

Ethiopian
Coffee Ceremony

No visit to Ethiopia, is complete without experiencing the
elaborate coffee ceremony that is Ethiopia’s traditional form of hospitality
and a highlight in the history of coffee. Coffee ceremony is an integral part
of the social life. This ritual has its origins in the dawn of the history of
coffee.  The ceremony is typically
conducted by a young woman in the traditional Ethiopian white dress with
colored woven borders.

The process starts with the arranging of the ceremonial apparatus
on a bed of long scented grasses. The lady brings out the washed green coffee
beans, proceeds to roast them in a flat pan over a charcoal brazier, shaking
the roasting pan back and forth so the beans will not burn. Once the coffee
beans begin to pop, the rich aroma of coffee mingles with the heady smell of
incense that is always burned during the ceremony.

To further heighten this sensory experience, after the coffee
beans have turned black and shining and the aromatic oil is coaxed out of them,
the lady takes the roasted coffee and walks around the room so that the smell
of freshly roasted coffee fills the air. (This sensory experience is
reminiscent of one of the Coptic events in the early history of coffee.) She
returns to her seat to grind the beans with a pestle and mortar. The ground
coffee is then brewed in a black pot with a narrow spout, known as jebena,
filling the room with aroma.

The brewed coffee is strained through a fine sieve several times
before it is served to family, friends and neighbors who have waited and
watched the procedure. The lady gracefully and expertly pours a golden stream
of coffee into little cups called ‘cini’ (si-ni) from a height of one foot or
more without spilling the beverage.

The coffee is taken with plenty of sugar, complemented by a
traditional snack food, such as popcorn, peanuts or cooked barley. It is common
to wait for a second and third cup of coffee. The second and third servings are
important enough that each serving has a name; the first serving is called
“Abol”; second serving is “Huletegna”(second) and third
serving is “Bereka.” The coffee is not ground for the second and
third serving; a portion of ground coffee is usually reserved for these two
occasions.

Throughout the history of coffee the social ambiance has always
been a defining factor.  Coffee ceremonies
are major social events. They create a time to discuss topical issues and
politics, resulting in enriching the spirit, given that it feeds and nurtures
social relations.

An ancient proverb in the annuals of the history of coffee best
describes the place of coffee in Ethiopian life, “Buna dabo naw”,
meaning “Coffee is our bread!”
Reference:
History of Coffee Source Link

History
of Coffee: post 1600 AD

Another important event in the history of coffee was when fertile
coffee beans, the berries with their husks unbroken, were taken to Southwest
India by a Baba Budan on his return from pilgrimage to Mecca in the 17th
century. (Baba Budan was a 17th century Sufi, revered by both Muslims and
Hindus, whose shrine is at Baba Budangiri, Karnataka, India. He is said to have
introduced the coffee plant to India by bringing seven beans from the port of
Mocha, Yemen, which were then raised at the place that bears his name, creating
another monument in the history of coffee.)
Reference: History of
Coffee Source Link

With the rapid growth in popularity of coffee houses, by the 17th
century, the European powers were competing with each other to establish coffee
plantations in their respective colonies. In 1616 the Dutch gained a head start
by taking a coffee plant from Mocha in Yemen to the Netherlands. 
Reference:
History of Coffee Source Link

In the history of coffee from time to time it continued to be
banned, the target of religious zealots, and at one time second offenders were
sewn into leather bags and thrown into the Bosphorus. But coffee was profitable
and finally achieved respectability when it became subject to tax. As the
history of coffee progresses Venetian traders introduced coffee to Europe by
1615, a few years later than tea which had appeared in 1610. Again its
introduction aroused controversy in Italy when some clerics, like the mullahs
of Mecca, suggested it should be excommunicated as it was the Devil’s work.
However there was a lucky break in the history of coffee, Pope Clement VIII
(1592- 1605) enjoyed it so much that he declared that coffee should be baptized
to make it a true Christian drink. 
Reference: History of
Coffee Source Link

The first coffee house in England was opened in Oxford, not
London, by a man called Jacob in 1650. A coffee club established near all Souls
College eventually becoming the Royal Society, another accolade in the history
of coffee. London’s first coffee house was in St. Michael’s Alley and opened in
1652. And the most famous name in the world of insurance, Lloyds of London,
began life as a coffee house in Tower Street, founded by Edward Lloyd in 1688
that used to prepare lists of ships that his clients had insured. The history
of coffee now exhibits the rapid growth in popularity of coffee houses; by the
17th century the European powers were competing with each other to establish
coffee plantations in their respective colonies. In 1616 the Dutch gained a
head start by taking a coffee plant from Mocha to the Netherlands, and they
began large scale cultivation in Sri Lanka in 1658. In 1699 cuttings were
successfully transplanted from Malabar to Java. Samples of Java coffee plants
were sent to Amsterdam in 1706, were seedlings were grown in botanical gardens
and distributed to horticulturists throughout Europe.
Reference:
History of Coffee Source Link

History
of Coffee: post 1600 AD

Coffee was certainly being cultivated in Yemen by the 15th century
and probably much earlier. In an attempt to prevent its cultivation elsewhere,
the Arabs imposed a ban on the export of fertile coffee beans, a restriction
that was eventually circumvented in 1616 by the Dutch, who brought live coffee
plants back to the Netherlands to be grown in greenhouses.

Amazingly viewing the history of coffee, initially, the
authorities in Yemen actively encouraged coffee drinking. The first
coffeehouses or kaveh kanes opened in Mecca and quickly spread throughout the
Arab world, thriving as places where chess was played, gossip was exchanged and
singing, dancing and music were enjoyed. Nothing quite like this had existed
before: a place where social and business life could be conducted in
comfortable surroundings and where – for the price of a cup of coffee – anyone
could venture. Perhaps predictably, the Arabian coffeehouse soon became a
center of political activity and was suppressed. Prohibition again emerges in
the history of coffee. Over the next few decades coffee and coffeehouses were
banned numerous times but kept reappearing until eventually an acceptable way
out was found when a tax was introduced on both.
Reference:
History of Coffee Source Link

History
of Coffee: post 1650 AD

By the late 1600s the Dutch were growing coffee at Malabar in
India and in 1699 took some plants to Batavia in Java, in what is now
Indonesia. Respectability in the history of coffee again emerges! Within a few
years the Dutch colonies had become the main suppliers of coffee to Europe,
where coffee had first been brought by Venetian traders in 1615.

The first literary reference to coffee being drunk in North
America is from 1668 and, soon after, coffee houses were established in New
York, Philadelphia, Boston and other towns.
Reference:
History of Coffee Source Link

History
of Coffee: post 1650 AD

The picture of Arabic coffee houses as dens of iniquity and frivolity
was exaggerated by religious zealots as has often been the case in the history
of coffee. In reality the Middle Eastern was the forerunner of the European
Café society and the coffee houses of London which became famous London clubs. Sprinkled
throughout the history of coffee are major contributions to the advancement of
society. The coffee houses were enlightened meeting places for intellectuals,
where news and gossip exchanged and clients regularly entertained by
traditional story-tellers.

The history of coffee now takes us to Italy. The first coffee
house opened in Venice in 1683. Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries coffee
houses proliferated in Europe. Nothing quite like the coffee houses, or café,
had ever existed before, the novelty of a place to enjoy a relatively
inexpensive and stimulating beverage in convivial company. This aspect of the
history of coffee established a social habit that has endured for over 400
years.

The history of coffee is about to give birth to it’s possibly most
famous growing location. In 1699 cuttings were successfully transplanted from
Malabar (Malabar was the name of a district of India stretching about 145 miles
along the west coast, south of Mangalore, in the general region of present day
Kerala.) to Java.
Reference:
History of Coffee Source Link

History
of Coffee: post 1700 AD

Samples of Java coffee plants were sent to Amsterdam in 1706,
where seedlings were grown in botanical gardens and distributed to
horticulturists throughout Europe. Now the history of coffee is about to go
“viral.”
Reference: History of
Coffee Source Link

A few years later, in 1718, the Dutch transplanted coffee to
Surinam (A country in northern South America. It borders French Guiana to the
east, Guyana to the west, Brazil to the south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the
north.) and soon after the plant became widely established in South America,
which was to become the coffee center of the world.

In the history of coffee the “grand dame,” the famous Café Florian
in the Piazza San Marco, established in 1720, is the oldest surviving coffee
house in Europe. It is still open for business today.

In Colombia, where coffee had been introduced by the Jesuits as
early as 1723, the juggernaut history of coffee hits an obstacle, civil strife
and the inaccessibility of the best coffee-growing regions had hampered the
growth of a coffee industry.
Reference: History of
Coffee Source Link

Here’s an interesting vignette in the history of coffee: In 1720 a
French naval officer named Gabriel Mathieu de Clieu, while on leave in Paris
from his post in Martinique, acquired a coffee tree with the intention of
taking it with him on the return voyage. With the plant secured in a glass case
on deck to keep it warm and prevent damage from salt water, the journey proved
eventful. As recorded in de Clieu’s own journal, the ship was threatened by
Tunisian pirates. There was a violent storm, during which the plant had to be
tied down. A jealous fellow officer tried to sabotage the plant, resulting in a
branch being torn off. When the ship was becalmed and drinking water rationed,
De Clieu ensured the plant’s survival by giving it most of his precious water.
Finally, the ship arrived in Martinique and the coffee tree was replanted at Le
Prêcheur, Saint-Pierre in 1723, A happy moment in the history of coffee. It
grew, and multiplied, and by 1726 the first harvest was ready.
Reference: History of
Coffee Source Link

But it was the Dutch, the stalwart propagators’ in the history of
coffee, who first started the spread of the coffee plant in Central and South
America, where today it reigns supreme as the main continental cash crop.
Coffee first arrived in the Dutch colony of Surinam in 1718, to be followed by
plantations in French Guyana and the first of many in Brazil in the state of
Pará. In 1730 the British introduced coffee to Jamaica, another happy moment in
the history of coffee, where today the most famous and expensive coffee in the
world is grown in the Blue Mountains.
Reference: History of
Coffee Source Link

History
of Coffee: post 1750 AD

The participation of North America in the history of coffee: The
Boston Tea Party Of 1773 was planned in a coffee house, the Green Dragon. Both
the New York Stock Exchange and the Bank of New York started in coffeehouses in
what is today known as Wall Street.
Reference:
History of Coffee Source Link
,  Reference:
History of Coffee Source Link

It is recorded that, by 1777, there were between 18 and 19 million
coffee trees on Martinique, concretizing its place in the history of coffee, and
the model for a new cash crop that could be grown in the New World was in
place.
Reference:
History of Coffee Source Link

History
of Coffee: post 1800 AD

The 17th and 18th centuries saw the establishment across Brazil of
vast sugar plantations or fazendas that were owned by the country’s elite. As
sugar prices weakened in the 1820s Brazil was about to be engaged in the
history of coffee as capital and labor migrated to the southeast in response to
the expansion of coffee growing in the Paraiba Valley, where it had been
introduced in 1774.
Reference: History of
Coffee Source Link

The Kingdom of Hawaii becomes involved in the history of
coffee:  King Kamehameha II, Queen Kamamalu,
and Chief Boki, the Royal Governor of Oahu, formed a delegation and went to
London in 1825 where the King and Queen contracted measles and died. Chief Boki
returned to Hawaii aboard the British battleship, H.M.S. Blonde, bearing the
bodies of the King and Queen. En route to the Hawaiian Islands, he stopped at
Rio de Janeiro and climbed aboard the history of coffee by obtaining several
coffee trees that in turn were the Arabica strain originating from the plateaus
of Ethiopia. Upon his return, he gave the trees to ex-West Indies settler and
agriculturist, John Wilkinson, to plant on the Chief’s land in Manoa Valley on
Oahu. He was never able to cultivate the trees for fruit production but they
were beautiful flowering foliage trees.

Reverend Samuel Ruggles brought the first coffee plant cuttings
from Chief Boki’s garden in 1828 to the Naole area above Kealakekua Bay (now
the town of Captain Cook) on the Big Island of Hawaii. The history of coffee is
about to branch again. He planted them in his yard simply for viewing pleasure.
The trees grew at an amazingly fast rate, and within a few years, planting
coffee became a fad in Kona. Initially, the trees, because of their inherent
beauty, were ornamentals and not intended for fruit production.
Reference: History of
Coffee Source Link

The history of coffee flourishes: By the beginning of the 1830s
Brazil was the world’s largest producer of Coffee with some 600,000 bags a
year, followed by Cuba, Java and Haiti, each with annual production of 350 to
450,000 bags. World production amounted to some 2.5 million bags per year.
Reference:
History of Coffee Source Link

The rapid expansion of production in Brazil and Java, among
others, caused a significant decline in world prices. These bottomed out in the
late 1840’s and then followed a strong upward movement, reaching its peak in
the 1890’s. A new rollercoaster for the history of coffee. During this latter
period, due mainly to a lack of inland transport and manpower, Brazilian growth
slowed considerably. Meanwhile, the price increase encouraged the growth of
coffee cultivation in other producing regions in the Americas such as El
Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico and Colombia as they join the history of coffee.
Reference: History of
Coffee Source Link

Due to the climate and optimal conditions, a strain of Guatemalan
Arabica is developed in Kona’s soil that is highly successful for coffee berry
production as Kona embraces its rightful place in the history of coffee. Coffee
in Kona thrives in the 1840s and its delicious flavor becomes well known and
highly sought after, especially among the seamen involved on the whaling and
trading ships in the Island of Hawaii harbors.
Reference:
History of Coffee Source Link

History
of Coffee: post 1850 AD

In 1878 the story of coffees’ journey around the world came full
circle in the history of coffee when the British laid the foundations for
Kenya’s coffee industry by introducing plants to British East Africa the
neighboring country to Ethiopia, where coffee had first been discovered
Thousands of years before.
Reference: History of
Coffee Source Link

The recent global spread of coffee growing and drinking began in
the Horn of Africa, where, according to the history of coffee in the oral tradition,
coffee trees were found in the Ethiopian province of Kaffa. It is recorded that
the fruit of the plant, known as coffee cherries, were eaten by slaves taken
from present day Sudan into Yemen and Arabia through Mocha a great part of that
time.
Reference:
History of Coffee Source Link

During this period of in history of coffee Pest and disease
infestations, drought and labor shortages in the 1850s caused a decline in the
Hawaiian coffee industry. Sugar plantations begin to replace coffee plantations
on other islands. Kona and Hamakua regions of the Big Island have the only
large coffee farms.

Another deciding moment in the history of coffee was when the
whaling industry collapsed in the 1860s destroying the primary demand for
Hawaiian coffee.

“The ride through the district of Kona to Kealakekua Bay took
us through the famous coffee section. I think Kona coffee has a richer flavor
than any other be it grown where it may.”

Was Mark Twain’s comment on July 1866, Page 206, in his
“Letters from Hawaii”
Reference:
History of Coffee Source Link

In the Kona chapter of the history of coffee, the Sugar
Reciprocity Treaty of 1875, a free trade agreement, between the Kingdom of
Hawaii and the US, (In exchange for which, the US gained lands in the area
known as Pu
ʻu Loa for what
became known as the Pearl Harbor naval base which is in effect to today.)

encouraged an even greater shift from coffee to sugar. Coffee production in
Kona is limited almost entirely to local consumption.
Reference: History of
Coffee Source Link

How coffee was produced in
the 1880s:

History of Coffee Video: Kona Coffee Living History Farm

 

Initial steps in processing
were done by independent farmers.

1.
They used hand powered pulpers,

2.
A 16 hour soaking period

3.
“False” pitched roofs (hoshidana) that rolled back to
dry beans under warm sunlight.

4.
Local Kona mills removed final parchment membranes

5.
Load grated beans into sacks that were

6.
Carried down the mountain in mule-powered freight wagons. (The
mules were called “Kona Nightingales” due to their braying.)

7.
The last part of the journey was at the harbor at Kailua or
Napoopoo where the coffee was loaded onto boats from waiting steamships bound
for San Francisco.

The first Japanese immigrant contract workers are brought to Big
Island sugar plantations in 1885 to work on 3-year labor contracts under severe
conditions. Many join the history of coffee when they are employed as coffee
pickers if they find their way to Kona. Reference: History of
Coffee Source Link

A boom in world coffee market prices catalyzes American and
European investments in Kona and ushers in the era of the large coffee
plantations in 1890.

As a highlight for the Kona history of coffee, there were 3
million coffee trees growing on over 6,000 acres, mostly in large plantations
by 1898. Reference:
History of Coffee Source Link

The first Japanese mill known as the “Kona Japanese Coffee
Mill” was established in 1899 at Kailua-Kona. Up until that time farmers
had to deliver their crops to Captain Cook Coffee Company or American Factors
to sell their coffee beans at whatever price they chose to give. As an
incentive, Japanese mills offered slightly higher prices and cash payment to
coffee growers. To avoid creditors, they would set out at midnight and pick up
the coffee crop. Coffee prices plummet as a consequence of an oversupply on the
world market. The world coffee market crashes bringing Kona coffee prices
sharply and steadily down at the same time, world sugar prices soar. Big
trouble begins to dawn on the Kona history of coffee, This combination of
events cause investors to begin to shift their money from coffee to sugar
production. Large coffee plantations cease production, and acreage in coffee
begins to decline. Reference:
History of Coffee Source Link

History
of Coffee: post 1900 AD

The focus of the history of coffee shifts. Following the Colombian
“Thousand Days War” of 1899 to 1902, the new peace saw Colombians
turn to coffee as their salvation. While larger haciendas, or plantations
dominated the upper Magdalena river regions of Cundinamarca and Tolima,
determined peasants stake new claims in the mountainous regions to the west, in
Antioquia and Caldas. By New railroads relying on coffee for profit, more
coffee could be grown and transported. The previously unreachable Pacific
coast, with it’s port of Buenaventura became increasing important with the
opening of the Panama Canal in 1914 by permitting coffee exports from Colombia.
Reference:
History of Coffee Source Link

Colombia comes to the forefront of the history of coffee. In 1905
Colombia exported five hundred thousand bags of coffee; by 1915 exports had
doubled. While Brazil desperately tried to control its overproduction,
Colombian coffee became increasingly popular with American and European
consumers. In 1914 Brazil supplied three-quarters of US imports with 5.6
million bags, but by 1919 that figure had fallen to 4.3 million, while
Colombia’ share had risen from 687,000 to 915,000 bags. During the same period
Central American exports to the US had risen from 302,000 to 1.2 million bags.
Central & South America greatly prosper during this era of coffee history.

In spite of political turmoil, social upheaval and economic
alternation, the 20th century saw an essentially continuous rise in demand for
coffee.

The United States consumption fuels major growth in the history of
coffee. US Consumption of coffee continued to grow reaching a peak in 1946,
when annual per capita consumption was 19.8 pounds, twice the figure in 1900. Reference: History of Coffee
Source Link
Especially during periods of high global prices, this steadily
increasing demand lead to an expansion in production throughout the
coffee-growing regions of the world. New growers join into the history of
coffee. With the process of decolonization that began in the years following
the Second World War, many newly independent nations in Africa, notably Uganda,
Kenya, Rwanda and Burundi, found themselves in varying degrees dependent on
coffee export revenue. Reference:
History of Coffee Source Link

The Kona history of coffee fights for survival. The Kona coffee
industry nears extinction in the early 1900s. Reference: History
of Coffee Source Link
Large scale sugar cultivation in Kona is impossible
because of steep terrain and scarce water. Due to the abysmal condition of the
coffee market, W.W. Brunner, a German immigrant coffee farmer, subdivides his
large coffee plantation for lease to tenant farmers. Reference: History of Coffee Source Link Other coffee
plantation owners follow the trend. Innovation is about to save the Kona
history of coffee! Plantations are subdivided into 5 to 15 acre parcels and
leased, primarily, to first generation (issei) Japanese immigrant family
ventures. At first, just male family members worked. Later, the female members
joined in to work through all phases of coffee production. Leased pieces
averaging less than 5 acres are sized to allow for family management without
hired help for the commonly large families of 8 to 11 children.

In about 10 years, Independent Japanese farmers comprise 80% of
Kona’s coffee farmers and family ventures carry on most coffee production. This
marks the beginning of the transition from large coffee plantations to small
family farms, a transformation that saved and revolutionized the Kona coffee
industry.

Another rollercoaster in the history of coffee: World War I begins
in 1914 and the armies buy up large quantities of coffee to provide sustenance
for combat. World market prices are pushed up by high world demand for coffee,
in turn sending Kona coffee prices flying. Coffee prices stay high until 1928
creating prosperous times for coffee farmers in Kona. The Great Depression 1929
causes the world coffee market to bottom out again at its onset. Reference: History of Coffee Source Link In the 1930s,
family farmers continue to produce coffee, but diversify into macadamia nut
cultivation. Kona public schools are closed for “Coffee Vacation”
from August to November rather than June to September like the rest of Hawaii
in order to free children to help (kokua) with the coffee harvest beginning in
1932. Reference: History of Coffee Source Link

The rollercoaster ride in the history of coffee continues: The
second World War in 1940 causes coffee prices to rise again as armies load up
on provisions. The US government imposes a ceiling on coffee prices to curb the
upswing. After the war ends, world coffee prices continue generally, to rise
for the next few years, with the normal cyclical downswings. The donkeys,
affectionately known as “Kona Nightingales” because of their bray,
that were used historically to carry coffee cherries across the rocky terrain
to the coffee mills are replaced by jeeps. Reference: History of Coffee Source Link

History
of Coffee: post 1950 AD

World and local coffee prices that had started to droop rise again
in 1950 with the onslaught of the Korean War. There is an exodus from farms
into construction, civil service, military surplus, and tourist related
industries.

More game changers in the Kona History of coffee: High world
market prices in 1958 encourage a spurt of planting to 6,000 acres. Kona coffee
growers begin to establish their own mills; Pacific Coffee and Sunset Coffee
Cooperatives are formed in a further effort to gain control of the production
process, in the hopes of increasing prices and profits for farmers. Reference: History of
Coffee Source Link
The Kona market, in the history of coffee, was
controlled until the late 1950s, by 2 firms, Captain Cook Coffee Company and
American Factors. There are 12 mills in Kona by 1959. Ensuing bad years causes
production to steadily decrease.

The “Coffee Vacation” is finally eliminated in 1969 to
conform Kona school summer vacations with those of the rest of Hawaii’s
schools.

History
of Coffee: post 1970 AD

For US coffee drinkers, the country’ wettest city, Seattle, has
become synonymous with a new type of café culture, which, from its birth in the
1970s, swept the continent, dramatically improving the general quality of the
beverage. Reference: History of Coffee Source Link This new found
‘evangelism’ for coffee, in the history of coffee, has spread to the rest of
the world, even to countries with great coffee traditions of their own, such as
Italy, Germany, and Scandinavia, adding new converts to the pleasures of good
coffee. Today it is possible to find good coffee in every major city of the
world, from London to Sydney to Tokyo; we are drinking more and, more
importantly, better coffee.
Reference: History of Coffee Source Link

The importance of coffee to the world economy, now more so than
ever before in the history of coffee, cannot be overstated. It is one of the
most valuable primary products in world trade, in many years second in value
only to oil as a source of foreign exchange to producing countries. Its
cultivation, processing, trading, transportation and marketing provide
employment for hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Coffee is crucial to
the economies and politics of many developing countries; for many of the
world’s least developed countries, exports of coffee account for more than 50
percent of their foreign exchange earnings. On major futures and commodity
exchanges, most importantly in London and New York, coffee is a traded
commodity. This prominence had never happened before in the history of coffee.

Reference:
History of Coffee Source Link

The first Kona Coffee Cultural Festival was held in 1970. Today, in
the history of coffee, it is recognized as the oldest and most successful
product festival in Hawaii and is the only coffee festival in the United
States. This 10-day festival offers more than 30 community events including a
cupping competition; honoring the multi-ethnic heritage of Kona coffee pioneers
and their gourmet brew. Reference:
History of Coffee Source Link

The price of Kona coffee experiences sharp ups and downs in late
1970s and 1980s. The dramatic growth of the specialty coffee market, however,
revitalizes the coffee industry in Kona.

Another vignette in the Kona history of coffee: Douglas Bong ships
the first coffee parchment outside of coop control in 1979, thus breaking the
coop monopoly. Other US mainland west coast transplants quickly follow suit.
Kona coffee establishes a firm foothold for itself among the very finest
gourmet coffees. Increasingly educated consumers demand pure, unblended Kona
coffee and are willing to pay its premium price.

The Kona history of coffee begins to look quite bleak. By 1981 only
1,600 acres of coffee are cultivated on Kona’s hillsides grown by mostly small
independent farms run by aging immigrant farmers and their families. Reference: History of Coffee Source Link

The “Kona Coffee” name grows in popularity around the
world, but by the 1990s actual acreage drops to 1,200 acres. Despite the high
price of coffee with the Kona name, many coffee farmers are compelled to
diversify their production to include macadamia nuts, avocados, and other
crops, while others have to seek part-time off-farm employment. Reference:
History of Coffee Source Link

The dismal progress of the Kona history of coffee becomes even
worse. Drought conditions following coffee flowering cause a premature drop-off
of fruit and consequent significant decline in cherry production in 1994. As a
result, the coffee harvest in Kona, estimated at approximately 1.5 million
pounds which has always represented just a small share of the world harvest,
shrinks in 1994 to an even tinier fraction of total world production.
Reference:
History of Coffee Source Link

Hawaii remains the sole US producer of commercially grown coffee
in the history of coffee, and Kona coffee remains truly rare. In 1996 there are
over 600 coffee farms in Kona, but most are just several acres in size.
Reference:
History of Coffee Source Link

With the passage of the law in 1998, the State of Hawaii begins
origin certification of Kona green coffee making it illegal in Hawaii to
mislabel Kona coffee.

History
of Coffee: post 2000 AD

As at the year 2000, coffee acreage in Kona has increased to 3,000
acres boosted by the reputation and superior flavor of 100% pure Kona coffee
and direct sales to customers. The gourmet specialty coffee market continues to
flourish, thus assuring continued high demand for Kona coffee. Most green
coffee beans from Kona are purchased by large companies to be combined to
create bulk non-estate packaged Kona coffee or to add dimension to blends of
cheaper, less finely flavored coffees. There is however, a light at the end of
the tunnel in the Kona history of coffee. Private estate labels and small
roasting companies, some owned by Americans arriving in Hawaii in the 1960s and
70s, are finding a niche in the coffee market. It is still highly unusual, however,
to encounter, outside of Hawaii, a broad and fine selection of limited
production Kona coffees.
Reference: History of Coffee Source Link

History
of Coffee: post 2010 AD

Today Ethiopia is Africa’s major exporter of Arabica beans, the
quality coffee of the world, and the variety that originated in Ethiopia, is
still the only variety grown there. The history of coffee comes full circle: Coffea
Arabica, which was identified by the botanist Linnaeus in 1753, is one of the
two major species used in most production, and presently accounts around 70 per
cent of the world’s coffee. The other major species is Coffea Canephora, or
Robusta, whose production is increasing now due to better yields from robusta
trees and their hardiness against decease. Robusta coffee is mostly used in
blend, but Arabica is the only coffee to be drunk on its own unblended, and
this is the type grown and drunk in Ethiopia, The arabica and robusta trees
both produce crops within 3-4 years after planting, and remain productive for
20-30 years. Arabica trees flourish ideally in a seasonal climate with a
temperature range of 59 °-75° F, whereas Robusta prefers an equatorial climate.
The origin of Robusta, in the history of coffee, was from Central Africa via
West Africa.

In Ethiopia’s province of Kaffa a large proportion of the arabica
trees grow wild amidst the rolling hills and forests of the fertile and
beautiful region, harkening back, in the history of coffee, to its’ prehistoric
origins.

At an altitude of 1,500 meters (4921.259’) the climate is ideal
and the plants are well protected by the larger forest trees which provide
shade from the midday sun and preserve the moisture in the soil. Traditionally,
these are the ideal conditions for coffee growing.

There are
two methods of processing coffee:

the wet and the dry.

This
history of coffee could not be complete without a “How to”.
Commercially
the wet method is preferred, but the small producer who picks the cherries wild
may save time by sun-drying the beans after picking, and the sell them direct
to customers in the local market.

1.
At the Farmer’s Co-operative near Jimma, Ethiopia the husk of the
cherry is removed mechanically and

2.
the bean then fermented in water for 48 hours to remove the sugar.

3.
The beans are the dried on racks in the sun for about a week
before

4.
being bagged up and

5.
sold at an auction.

A small holder, who may have anything from a half to two hectares
(1 Hectare = 2.471 Acres), sells his beans to the Co-op which processes them
and sells them at auction, returning a share of the profits to the farmer. In
the Jimma district alone annual production is approximately 30,000 tons.
Nationally the country produces 200,000 tons a year, of which almost half is
for domestic consumption, the highest in African history of coffee.

Coffee from Sidamo in the south has an unusual flavor and is very
popular, especially the beans known as Yirgacheffes. In many ways Ethiopian
coffee is unique, having neither excessive pungency nor the acidity of the
Kenyan brands. It is closest in character to the Mocha coffee of the Yemen,
with which it supposedly shares a common origin, and it cannot be high roasted
or its character is destroyed. Throughout the history of coffee, the best
Ethiopian coffee may be compared with the finest coffee in the world, and
premium washed arabica beans fetch high prices on the world market.

History
of Coffee: post 2011 AD

The old / new star in the
history of coffee: Ethiopia coffee exports hit record high Wed Jul 27, 2011
4:45pm GMT

Ethiopia earned a record $841.6 million from the export of nearly
200,000 tons of coffee in 2010/2011, trade data showed on Wednesday, thanks to
lower output from traditional giants Colombia and Brazil and higher demand from
India and China.

Africa’s biggest coffee producer intends to boost its agricultural
output by 2015, raising coffee to 700,000 tons from 300,000 tons, under a
five-year economic development plan launched last year.

Amazing how the history of coffee returns to its origin! High
global commodity prices and the introduction in 2008 of a commodity exchange
market, which promoted transparent trading instead of a murky auction system,
helped lift coffee production to 196,118 tons in the 2010/2011 fiscal year,
exporters said.

Trade data from the Ethiopian Coffee Exporters Association said
the revenue figure represented a 59 percent rise compared to revenue earned in
2009/2010 and 124 percent from 2008/2009.

“The price has doubled over the year and farmers have reaped
their fruit. Everyone was encouraged to bring coffee to the local market,”
said Hailu Gebrehiwot, an exporter and former head of the Ethiopian Coffee
Exporters Association.

Prices for Ethiopia’s specialty Sidamo beans reached 1,500
Ethiopian birr ($88) for 17-kilograms in 2010/2011, up from 600 birr last year,
Hailu added.

The Ethiopian Commodity Exchange, which trades coffee, maize,
sesame and white pea beans through an open outcry system, has said it was
looking to introduce future and forward trading in a country where hoarding is
common among traders wary of price volatility.

Coffee traders in Ethiopia have repeatedly held on to their
stocks, reluctant to sell through the new exchange saying prices were too low,
sparking authorities to warn of seizures.

The government seized 17,000 tons of the crop in 2009 and revoked
the licenses of six exporters it accused of hoarding their stocks and waiting
for prices to rise.

“With the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX), the flow of
coffee trading is streamlined – it means there’s less contraband business going
on,” Hailu says.

Ethiopia prides itself as the birthplace of coffee. Some 15
million small holder farmers grow the crop, mostly in the forested highlands in
the huge country’s west and southwest.

The Horn of Africa nation
projects it will earn $3 billion in export revenue for 2010/11 (July-June)
after a resurgence of coffee sales and diversification into new commodities
earned $2 billion in the previous year. ($1 = 17.044 Ethiopian Birrs July 27,
2011)

History
of Coffee: post 2012 AD

To recapitulate the highlights of the history of coffee: Today
Ethiopia, is Africa’s major exporter of Kaffa and Sidamo beans, now known as
Arabica, the quality coffee of the world, and the variety that originated in
Ethiopia. Coffea Arabica, which was identified by the botanist Linnaeus in
1753, is one of the two major species used in most production, and presently
accounts for around 70 per cent of the world’s coffee.
Reference:
History of Coffee Source Link

The other major species is Coffea Canephora, or Robusta, whose production
is increasing now due to better yields from robusta trees and their hardiness
against decease. Robusta coffee is mostly used in blend, but Arabica is the
only coffee to be drunk on its own unblended, and this is the type grown and
drunk in Ethiopia, The arabica and robusta trees both produce crops within 3-4
years after planting, and remain productive for 20-30 years. Arabica trees
flourish ideally in a seasonal, higher elevation climate, with a temperature
range of 59-75 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas Robusta prefers an equatorial, lower
elevation climate.
Reference: History of Coffee Source Link

Ethiopia’s current role in the history of coffee: In Ethiopia’s
province of Kaffa a large proportion of the coffee arabica trees grow wild
amidst the rolling hills and forests of the fertile and beautiful region. At an
altitude of 1,500 meters the climate is ideal and the plants are well protected
by the larger forest trees which provide shade from the midday sun and preserve
the moisture in the soil. Traditionally, these are the ideal conditions for
coffee growing. There are two main processing methods: the wet and the dry.
Commercially the wet method is preferred, but the small producer who picks the
cherries wild may save time by sun-drying the beans after picking, and the sell
them direct to customers in the local market. These beans are rarely available
to the international consumer.

Ethiopia’s distinctive coffee varieties are highly sought after.
Each region’s coffee tastes slightly different, according to the growing
conditions.

The highest grown coffee comes from Harar, where the Longberry
variety is the most popular, having a wine-like flavor and tasting slightly
acidic.

Coffee from Sidamo in the south has an unusual flavor and is very
popular, especially the beans known as Yirgacheffes.

Ethiopian coffee is unique, having neither excessive pungency nor
the acidity of the Kenyan brands.

Mocca (the anglicized version is Mocha) coffee of Yemen is closest
to the Ethiopian coffee in character since the latter shares a common origin
with the beans of Kaffa and Sidamo.

Ethiopian coffee is among the finest coffee in the world.
Connoisseurs worldwide savor the beans from Yirgacheffe for their distinctive
flavor. It cannot be high roasted so as not to destroy its character and
flavor.

According to official
Ethiopian sources, these are some of the unique gourmet Ethiopian coffees.

Harar coffee grows in the Eastern Highlands. The bean is medium in
size, with a greenish-yellowish color. It has medium acidity and full body and
a distinctive mocha flavor. It is one of the highest premium coffees in the
world.

Wollega (Nekempte) coffee grows in Western Ethiopia, and the
medium-to-bold bean is mainly known for its fruity taste. It has a greenish,
brownish color, with good acidity and body. There are many roasters who put
this flavor in their blends, but it can also be sold as an original gourmet or
special origin flavor.

Limu coffee is known for its spicy flavor and attracts many
roasters. It has good acidity and body and the washed Limu is one of the
premium coffees. It has a medium-sized bean, and is greenish-bluish in color
and mostly round in shape.

Sidamo coffee has a medium sized bean, and is greenish-grayish in
color. Sidamo washed coffee, known for its balanced taste and good flavor, is
called sweet coffee. It has fine acidity and good body and is produced in the
southern part of the country. It is always blended for gourmet or specialty
coffee.

Yirgacheffe coffee has an intense flavor known as flora. The
washed Yirgacheffe is one of the best highland grown coffees. It has fine
acidity and rich body. Roasters are attracted to its delicate fine flavor and
are willing to pay a premium for it.

Lastly, there are also other coffees, such as Tepi and Bebeka,
which are known for their low acidity but better body.

 

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