Early morning, 5 am. It is still snowing outside. Temperature is dropping with every flake fall. The city is in deep sleep with warm blanket covered around the body. But the alarm is merciless, and you grudgingly get up cause you have a flight to catch.
Sitting on the bed, half asleep, literally dozing, feeling as if somebody is pulling you back on the bed. But you don’t have any other choice apart from getting up from sweet sweet sleep.
The situation is merciless, the task needs to be done! What will you do?
Don’t worry dear friends, you always have a soulmate ready to stand beside you and make you win over the fight with sleep.
Confused? Don’t be. I am of course talking about our beloved, something really close to our heart… COFFEE.
Yes, in freezing cold morning, a perfect brew of hot water, grounded coffee beans with or without milk will help you stimulate your cells & give you the energy you need. As you sip from the mug, the hot caffeine with its chocolatey taste and flavor will make you ready to have another perfect day.
It is true that coffee plays many roles in our daily life from start to end. From college cafeteria to popular coffee shop on the busy street. From the desk of CEO to the table of a new joinee. Whenever you need it, you will get it… doesn’t matter what part of the world or the nook of a city you are in.
How did it all start?
Such an indispensable drink coffee came into our lives at the beginning of the 9th century. While no one knows for sure, it is said that the great discovery was done by Ethiopian goat herder, named Kaldi. He noticed the effect caffeine had on his goats, who appeared to dance after eating coffee berries.
After few repeated observations he tried some of the berries & soon felt delighted. He then took those berries to the monastery near Lake Tana, but as soon as the effect was explained to the chief monk, he considered it as ”Devil’s Work” and threw berries into the fire.
Soon after, the monastery was filled with the aroma of roasting beans, which led the monks to rake them from the fire and cover them with hot water (for preservation). That night the monks tried the fragrant brew and found it kept them awake for longer. Unknowingly to them, they had just created the first coffee concoction!
But the monks concoction was not the only recipe used. Unlike Ethiopian Monks, Kaffa (a province in Ethiopia) found a different way to consume coffee… by mixing grounded coffee beans with clarified butter and consuming it as snack ball.
After the Ethiopian monks approved coffee, it was already on the way to conquer the world. It was first exported from Ethiopia to Yemen and then subsequently introduced in Mecca (Saudi Arabia). The up-gradation of non-alcoholic beverage coffee to a trendy social drink took place with the establishment of the first coffee house in Mecca (established sometime around late 1400’s / the early 1500’s).
Currently, coffee is the second traded commodity in the world, ranked after oil. Statistics show in 2016-17, consumers around the globe drank about 157.38 millions 60 kg bags of coffee. Such is the popularity the coffee has gained as a beverage.
Still, its journey from the forest of Ethiopia to the world of millions was not so easy. It took centuries for coffee to steal the hearts of people across the planet and had to overcome several obstacles!
Glad you asked, Soon after the coffee cafe opened in Mecca, the Imams took a disliking to it, eventually banning the coffee (and the cafe) in 1512 thinking it stimulated radical thinking. The ban was only lifted after a decade was passed (1524). In the 16th century, an Italian clergyman tried to ban coffee. Because they believed it to be “satanic”. But they were stopped by Pope Clement Vll, who himself was a coffee lover.
There were even attempts to treat coffee drinkers as criminals of sorts. Ottoman leader Murad IV was the first one to set the penalty for drinking coffee, the punishment being getting beaten up and thrown in the sea. Despite these woes, our favorite beverage made it in the end!
Such great powers, much WOW! Ever wondered what it takes to make coffee? The plant Coffee sap… can live up to 200 years. It requires about 37 gallons of water to grow coffee beans and process them to make a cup of coffee.
Ohhh, and there are also two major types of coffee beans. Arabica and Robusta. Majority percentage of beans are Arabica which is the taste you know, while comparatively the less popular Robusta is known to be a little bitter in taste with higher caffeine content.
The way to grow and harvest a coffee is vastly different as well. For example, “Kona Coffee” or “Kona” is one of the expensive coffee in the world which is produced in Hawaii.
But if you want to taste the best, load your money bag. Yes, the tastiest coffee is the most expensive too. It costs $600 a pound. It’s called Luwak coffee, more famous by the name “Cat Coffee”.
But why cat? Because these particular coffee beans are harvested from the feces of Sumatran wildcat called Luwak Cat. In this process, Luwak cats are forced fed with coffee beans which remain partially digested and undergoes fermentation in their stomach. They then excrete those fermented coffee beans which produce smooth, chocolaty coffee. Best in taste.
Let’s talk about the countries that love their coffee. Brazil ranks top in terms of producing coffee around the world. But when it comes to consumption, New York people consumption is way higher than the rest of the US. If you want to talk about the most caffeinated country, then that title is solely reserved for Finland with US coming in at a distant #22.
There are various ways to have your coffee, It all comes down to how you Brew!
Espresso, the popular term does not belong to any particular variety of coffee bean. But the name has been derived following the style of brewing. An Italian Espresso means “something is forced out”. Espresso is brewed forcing the boiling water through grounded coffee beans. Cappuccino is an Espresso based drink with a thick frothy top.
There are various other brewing styles as well, Turkish coffee, Drip or Filtre coffee, A French Press or A Moca Pot, each one differs from another in terms of different brewing methods which ultimately brings variety in how it tastes.
But why Coffee works and increases our efficiency?
Well, why else but science! A chemical (adenosine) binds to the brain’s receptor to cause drowsiness. Caffeine closely resembles this compound, and when you sip your coffee, the caffeine instead is attached to these adenosine receptors… blocking the sleeping process and helping you in staying awake and productive.
Enough said… time for me to get some hot, freshly brewed coffee!!!