I love coffee so much I decided this morning to have a blog about it.
When I was a little girl my parents did not drink coffee, they both thought it was disgusting, and in my mom’s case hated coffee breath of her parents so badly she promised she would never torture her kids with it. (Ironically all three of us now torture her with it!) My granny used to slip me some when my parents weren’t looking…at the age of 4 I was given a shotful of black coffee in a “grownup cup”. Thus began my love of coffee….
I grew up in a country that exports coffee – good coffee – Good coffee by my definition is smooth, perfectly roasted, goes down without cream and sugar (though these can be added to enhance the flavor), and does not leave you with a horrible bitter aftertaste and breath that would knock down a giant. I often tell people that due to this upbringing I have the rights to being a coffee snob. But mostly I just love that first sip in the morning, that first sip of piping hot sweet goodness…..I’m in heaven just thinking about it.
And now, for your entertainment – these are some fun coffee facts I found:
Legend has it that Ethiopian shepherds first noticed the effects of caffine when they saw their goats “dance” after eating coffee berries.
In 1675, the King of England banned coffee houses claiming they were places where people met to conspire against him. He might have been onto something as both the American and French Revolutions were said to have been born in coffee houses.
Coffee is the second most traded commodity on earth after oil.
The word “coffee” was at one time a term for wine, but was later used to describe a black drink made from berries of the coffee tree. This black drink replaced wine in many religious ceremonies because it kept the Mohammedans awake and alert during their nightly prayers, so they honored it with the name they had originally given to wine.
“Expresso is not a word; it comes from the same root as “express” as in “The Express Train.” The term is ESPRESSO. It comes from the Latinate root for “Press”, or “Under Pressure”. In many places if you order “expresso”, you will be politely ignored.
Turkish bridegrooms were once required to make a promise during their wedding ceremonies to always provide their new wives with coffee. If they failed to do so, it was grounds for divorce! (Ouch!)
“Coffee Day” is actually celebrated as a holiday in Costa Rica on September 12th and in Ireland on September 19th, and Japan actually has “Coffee Day” on October 1st. (I now know when I’ll be visiting each of these countries.)
Mocha is the name of the sea port that was a route to Mecca, which is where trades of coffee took place. Coffee was a well guarded commodity and it was not allowed for any one to take fertile coffee plants out of the country.
Coffee is only grown near the equator, from the Tropic of Cancer to the Tropic of Capricorn, within a 1,000 mile limit. (Also known as the bean belt – I’d live there rather than the Bible belt any day)
All this coffee talk has me craving some…..so I leave you with this lovely poem.
Ode to Coffee
O! coffee, where art thou
When I need thee now?
In thy many flavoured blends
A hot cup would be godsend.
I cannot keep awake
Without a short coffee-break.
With thy life-giving aroma
Save me from going into a coma.
Java, Colombian or French Roast
Thy every flavour, I will toast.
To the end thy loyal slave
Three cups a day I will always crave.
(Inspired by a very sleepy seminar) -Ranjit Nair