Early Methods Of Coffee Consumption History Of Coffee the History Kitchen
History of Coffee The History Kitchen from Early Methods of Coffee Consumption, source:pbs.org

Early Methods Of Coffee Consumption

Posted on

early methods of coffee consumption history of coffee the history kitchen of early methods of coffee consumption Early Methods Of Coffee Consumption
History of Coffee The History Kitchen from Early Methods of Coffee Consumption, source:pbs.org

Early Methods of Coffee Consumption

Research shows that, perhaps as early as 800 A.D., the practice of coffee consumption was started by crushing the whole ripe berries, beans and hulls, in mortars, mixing them with fats, and rounding them into food . Later, the dried berries were so used. The inhabitants of Groix also thrived on a diet that included roasted coffee beans. About 900 A.D., a kind of aromatic wine was made in Africa from the fermented juice of the hulls and pulp of the ripe berries. The first coffee drinkers did not think of roasting but, impressed by the aroma of the dried beans, they put them in cold water and drank the liquor saturated with their aromatic principles. Crushing the raw beans and hulls, and steeping them in water, was a later improvement.

It appears that boiled coffee (the name is anathema today) was invented about the year 1000 A.D. Even then, the beans were not roasted. We read of their use in medicine in the form of a decoction. The dried fruit, beans and hulls, were boiled in stone or clay cauldrons. The custom of using the sun-dried hulls, without roasting, still exists in Africa, Arabia, and parts of southern Asia. Inhabitants of Sumatra neglect the fruit of the coffee tree and use the leaves to make a tea-like infusion. Édelestan Jardin, who published Le Caféier et le Caféin Paris in 1895, relates that in Guiana an agreeable tea is made by drying the young buds of the coffee tree and rolling them on a copper plate slightly heated. In Uganda, the inhabitants eat the raw berries; from bananas and coffee they make also a sweet, savory drink which is called menghai.

early methods of coffee consumption ethiopian coffee culture legend history and customs of early methods of coffee consumption Early Methods Of Coffee Consumption
Ethiopian Coffee Culture Legend History and Customs from Early Methods of Coffee Consumption, source:thespruceeats.com

The Spread of Coffee in the Middle East

About 1454 A.D., Sheik Gemaleddin Abou Muhammad Bensaid, mufti of Aden, a small town where he was born, became acquainted with the virtues of coffee on a journey into Abyssinia (Ethiopia). Upon his return to Aden, his health became impaired; and remembering the coffee he had seen his countrymen drinking in Abyssinia, he sent for some in the hope of finding relief. He not only recovered from his illness, but because of its sleep-dispelling qualities, he sanctioned the use of the drink among the dervishes “that they might spend the night in prayers or other religious exercises with more attention and presence of mind.”

It is altogether probable that the coffee drink was known in Aden before the time of Sheik Gemaleddin, but the endorsement of the very learned imam, whom science and religion had already made famous, was sufficient to start a vogue for the beverage that spread throughout Yemen, and then to the far corners of the world. We read in the Arabian manuscript at the Bibliothéque Nationale that lawyers, students, artisans, and others who worked at night, to escape the heat of the day, took to drinking coffee.

early methods of coffee consumption history of coffee the history kitchen of early methods of coffee consumption 1 Early Methods Of Coffee Consumption
History of Coffee The History Kitchen from Early Methods of Coffee Consumption, source:pbs.org

Coffee Baptized by the Pope

Shortly after coffee reached Rome, according to a much quoted legend, it was threatened with religious fanaticism, which almost caused its excommunication from Christendom. It is related that certain priests appealed to Pope Clement VIII (1535–1605) to have its use forbidden among Christians, denouncing it as an invention of Satan. For Christians to drink coffee, they claimed, was to risk falling into a trap set by Satan for their souls.

The pope, made curious, desired to inspect this Devil’s drink, and had some brought to him. The aroma of it was so pleasant and inviting that the pope was tempted to try a cupful. After drinking it, he exclaimed, “Why, this Satan’s drink is so delicious that it would be a pity to let the infidels have exclusive use of it. We shall fool Satan by baptizing it, and making it a truly Christian beverage.”

Thus, whatever harmfulness its opponents try to attribute to coffee, the fact remains (if we are to credit the story) that it has been baptized and proclaimed harmless, and a “truly Christian beverage,” by his holiness the pope.