While the origins of coffee are still unknown, many legends feed popular beliefs. The mysterious drink is identified in various written or told stories.
In the Iliad, Homer tells us that Helen of Troy offered Menelaus a drink “useful against sorrows, resentment and the memory of pain”. In the first book of the kings of the Bible, it is David who, as a token of reconciliation, donates roasted coffee beans to Abigail. But it is in the Koran that the black potion is precisely recognized. Mohammed then sleep sick is healed thanks to a drink sent by Allah into the hands of the archangel Gabriel. Mohammed would then have regained all his energy to the point of confusing forty riders and honoring forty women.
Ethiopia, the original land of coffee
The oldest archaeological evidence available confirms the possibility of consumption only in the 12th century. These data are consistent with other oral histories, those of the first Arab traders who brought the plant back from the Kaffa region of Ethiopia. Ethiopian coffee trees are nowadays considered as the ancestors of all existing arabicas. We should also mention in passing the etymological proximity of the word qawah and Kaffa, its presumed new origin.
Coffee cultivation first spread to neighbouring Arabia where its popularity may be due to Islam’s prohibition of alcohol. In 1511 in Mecca and 1532 in Cairo, coffee was banned because of its dangerous effects, which were considered dangerous by Orthodox imams, but the fame of the product would have pushed the authorities to cancel the decree. In Arab countries, the coffee ceremony is a symbol of hospitality, the virtues of this drink, which is called Arabia’s black gold, are praised. It is said that drinking it “gives the Muslim the delight even before he enters paradise”, or that “anyone who dies with coffee in his stomach does not risk the flames of hell, because coffee is good for good and promotes the success of the pious”.
In Europe too, coffee raises the feathers between warnings and incenses: in the 16th century, an Italian cardinal would have said coffee is “a dark drink of Islam that comes to us from the devil” but Pope Clement VIII retorts then “the aroma of coffee is much too pleasant to be the work of the Evil and it would be a pity if Muslims had the exclusivity”.
Coffee, a gift from Ethiopia to the world
Ethiopia is the only country in the world where coffee still grows in a natural and unspoilt way. By its commitment to exclude any chemical treatment, to respect the routing, packaging, roasting, Terra-Kahwa Ethiopian coffee preserves and magnifies the divine aromas of an Ethiopian coffee of unique Certified Origin. Ethiopian coffee, nicknamed “Moka”, is produced in the heights on more than 400,000 hectares, oscillating between floral, fruity and spicy notes. The most famous are Harrar, Sidamo and Yergacheffe. Symbol of hospitality in Ethiopia, it is prepared according to a ritual ceremony that can sometimes take hours… Here, one does not joke with coffee! Dried naturally, the still green grains are washed, roasted and crushed in a clay pot heated by charcoal. The sweet beverage is then poured into small cups without handles.