Origins and References

The history of coffee is as rich as coffee itself, dating for more than 1000 years. In West, the history of coffee starts three centuries ago, but in the Middle East it is consumed by all social classes since ancient times.First coffee reference, from registered sources, dates from the ninth century, but many centuries before there were Arab legends about the mysterious and bitter drink with energizing powers. The first coffee plants were brought on the Red Sea coast from Africa.

In the beginnings, coffee was considered food but not drink. East African tribes used to ground raw coffee beans and by mixing them with animal fat they obtained a paste which was shaped in the form of balls. These were consumed by tribe’s warriors to have more energy during fights.

Starting 1000 AD, the famous healing Avicenna, gave coffee as medicine. Ethiopians got a kind of wine from coffee fruits, by fermentation of dry beans in water. Coffee used to grow naturally in Arabic Peninsula as well and in the 11th century this was prepared as warm drink.

So-called stimulating proprieties of the coffee were considered the generators of a religious ecstasy by many in those ancient times and coffee as a drink gained a mystical reputation, surrounded by mystery and associated with priests and doctors. It is therefore not surprising that two powerful legends appeared to explain the discovery of this magic bean.