According to a legend, an Ethiopian sheperd name Kaldi noticed that his goats were very active after having chewed coffee berries. He tried the cherries himself and found out about coffee properties.
Another legend tells of a bushfire in Abyssinia, which created a smell that spread in a vast area. Nomads noticed that, and discovered the properties of coffee.
A third legend tells of a nomad who got lost in the desert, but managed to survive his trip only by chewing coffee berries.
The origin of the word “coffee” has not been defined yet. It could come from the Arabic gawha or Kavek, which means stimulating, of from the Turkish word Kahve, or from the word Kaffa, the region of Ethiopia where the frst coffee plant was found.
Arabs started drinking coffee because their holy book did forbid alcohol. Coffee was a nice alternative to wine.
According to a legend, after the siege of Wien, Turkish army left behind coffee bags. After a while the coffee benas grew, thus spreading the coffee culture throughout Europe.
Rumor has it the Pope Clement the VII tasted coffee in order to reassure those priests who thought that coffee was the beverage of evil. He found the drink delicious and allowed people to drink it.
In 1686, the Siicilian nobleman Procopio de Coltelli open the first coffee shop in Paris (Cafè Procope). It soon became a place where French intellectuals used to gather.
As coffee culture spread throughout Europe, so its cultivation spread around the world, in the European Empires’ colonies. Brasil, Central America and Indonesia became large coffee producers.
Venetian suitors in the past centuries we used to give coffee and chocolate as gifts for their lovers.
Benefits of coffee are known for a long time. The arabian doctor Avicenna, in the 11th century used to prescribe coffee as a medicine.
By the end of the 14th century, botanics started to study coffee and its benefits. One of the first essay about coffee was written by the end of the 16th century, by the German botanic Leonhard Rauwolf. The Italian doctor Prospero Alpini also wrote a tome about the properties of Coffee. The French Antoine de Jusseieu wrote a tome about anotomy and coffee.
In the 19th century, many doctor used to prescribe coffee for its helth benefits.
Arab started to brew coffee by macerating both beans and pulp in boiling water. Later the Turk introducing the roasting and grinding process and a brewing technique with a small pot (Ibrik).
Abyssinian warriors used to feed on loaves made with coffee beans butter and salt.
In the arab peninsula, people still brew green beans, thus getting a drink called qishr.
Espresso machine was invented in Italy in 1902, by Luigi Bezzera, an engineer from Milan.
In the beginning of the 20th century, Alfonso Bialetti invented the Moka pot.
Coffee and literature
The Italian writer Carlo Goldoni, dedicated a comedy to coffee, and maned it La bottega del caffè.
In the 19th century, coffee shops were places , all around Europe, where intellectuals used to gather.
Coffee was the drink for the intellectual elite, set against chocolate, which was the drink of aristocracy.
The French writer Proust was a coffee lover, and used to prepare it twice a day, following a precise ritual.
In the piece Questi Fantasmi of the Italian Eduardo De Filippo, coffee becomes the main theme of an entire monologue.