History of Coffee

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Everybody should believe in something. I believe I’ll have another cup of coffee. Anonymous

Coffee, a drink made from the beans of the coffee tree is an all time favorite all over the world.  Basically, coffee is a Western beverage.  India now ranks as one of the largest consumers of coffee in the world.

The Arabs were the first to prepare a delicious cup of coffee using coffee  seeds in the 13th century.   The knowhow  of the coffee manufacture was kept as  closely guarded trade secret among the Arabs for a long time.

Later, the Dutch from  Netherlands secretly managed to get some coffee plants and beans across the Mediterranean Sea.  They were displayed as curious exhibits in various botanical gardens in Europe.  Brazil in South America, one of the leading coffee exporting countries in the present day world market, had to struggle hard to get even a few cuttings of coffee plants.  Curiously no coffee producing country came forward to share the secrets of coffee with Brazil.  In spite of that the eventful breakthrough  came in the year 1727.  Brazil’s  Army Lieutenant Francisco Demolo was deputed to arbitrate a boundary dispute between French and Dutch Guiana on the northeast coast of South America.  He had a  successful mission and as a token of appreciation for his great services  he was presented with a bouquet contained a hidden treasure in the form of few fertile coffee-beans and cuttings.  This was quite an unexpected gain and it paved the way for the growth  and development of today’s flourishing coffee industry in Brazil.

Coffee trees are evergreen  shrubs and they are generally planted only on the hilly regions.  They normally bloom once a year bearing green berries and yielding good commercial quantities of beans within eight years.

While drinking the coffee beverage, caffeine, an alkaloid present in it gives strength and energy to our spirits and raises our mood to a higher position.  On the other hand, coffeol, another substance, gives a pleasant flavor to the drink.

Compelled by necessity to quicken the process of coffee preparation, in 1901, Sarturi Katu, a Japanese chemist living in Chicago, invented ‘Instant Coffee’, which  has become a popular drink all over the world.


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