Where does coffee originate from?Friday, 28 September 2018
The coffee plant is a shrub that belongs to the family of genus Coffea. Once roasted and ground, the seeds of this plant give the whole world the beloved drink named coffee.
The origins of this plant are ancient and in some ways mysterious and disputed: some people think its name originated from the Arabic word “qahwa” which means “exciting”, whilst other people think it was name after the Caffa region, which is located in western Ethiopia where coffee is grown. Therefore, we can say that Ethiopia is the true home of coffee. Thanks to the particular climate and soil, the plant here grows spontaneously in the shade of other vegetation.
The drink arrived in the Middle East in 1500, especially in the magnificent cities of Constantinople, Damascus and Cairo, where it used to be consumed in gathering places. From the beginning, it has always represented a phenomenon of sharing and aggregation.
Between the mid-1600’s and early 1700s, coffee landed in Europe, particularly in England and France, and from that moment onward its diffusion was unstoppable.
Thanks to its relationship with the Middle East, Venice is responsible for having introduced coffee in Italy, around the end of 1500.
The coffee plant includes over 100 species, but the most cultivated types used for production are mainly two:
- Arabica, especially popular in South America, Central America, Ethiopia and other African countries.
- Robusta, particularly cultivated in the Far East, Vietnam and Indonesia.
Arabica and Robusta beans are distinguishable: Arabica ones have a more oval shape, while Robusta’s are rounder.
A little curiosity, did you know that coffee was called the devil’s drink?
Yes! It was a seductive and exciting drink, too much at times and because of this, in the East, the Muslims forbade its use to women, while in the West the church accused it of being diabolical, responsible for making people who used it too loquacious and uninhibited.
In short, the coffee, strong and bitter, mysterious and legendary, continues to dominate the lives of billions of people around the world, whether its an Italian espresso, weak black coffee, with milk, Americano, no one can do without his/her good dose daily coffee.
Have a good cup, everyone!