Tuesday, November 05, 2013

History of Coffee in Arab World

The first mention of coffee dates from the 9th century in the writings of the famous Arab physician Razes, who called the bean ‘bunca’ or ‘bunchum’.

At first, coffee beans were chewed rather than ground, roasted and turned into liquid. The custom of making beverage from coffee beans and boiling water began about 1200 AD. Raw beans were used in these first attempts.

Then starting 1300 AD, men began the practice of removing the hulls, drying, roasting them and grinding the beans to a powder: this powder was then mixed with boiling water.

In the 15th century, coffee consumption was introduced into Aden by Mufti Gemaleddin Abou Abdallah who during his trip to Persia heard about the wonderful effects of an ‘infusion’.

In 1453, Coffee was introduced to Constantinople by Ottoman Turks. The world’s first coffee shop, Kiva Han, open there in 1475.

The coffee habit spread quickly through Arabia, where Mohammedan pilgrim took it in their bags to Mecca, Medina and other cities.

The Arabs were the first, not only to cultivate coffee but also to begin its trade. By 15 century, coffee was being grown in the Yemeni district of Arabia and by the 16th century it had gained popularity in Persia, Egypt, Syria and Turkey.

The first cultivation of coffee in Yemen took place much earlier, around 575 AD, after the victory of the Persian army over Caleb, Negus of Ethiopia, who had rule the country since 525. Extensive planting occurred in Yemen between 1250 and 1600.

In the middle of the 16th, the coffee was already drunk in Egypt, Syria, Persia and Turkey, and coffeehouse were to be found in the cities of Medina, Cairo, Baghdad, Alexandria, Damask and Istanbul.

According to Bernard Lewis the coffeehouse served as the Middle East’s equivalent of the tavern in Europe.
History of Coffee in Arab World
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