By Maxwell Pereira
Jt. Commissioner of Police/Traffic, Delhi
has it that coffee seeds were first brought into India from Arabia
by a mendicant, Baba Budan and planted on the rain washed slopes
of the lush western ghats around Chickmagalur district in Karnataka.
Another story that did the rounds in my childhood, was that Baba
and Budan were two brothers, credited to have first brought in
these seeds. Whichever of them be real fact, these particular
hills now bear the name as Baba Budan Giris.
is a drink - call it a beverage - made by infusion or decoction
from the roasted and ground or pounded beanlike seeds of a shrub
of the genus Coffea in the family Rubiacae. The seeds come out
of the fruit of this evergreen tree or shrub which flourishes
mostly in tropical and subtropical regions around the world. These
trees produce clusters of fragrant jasmine-scented white blossoms
and fruit known as cherries.
In each cherry, protected by pulp and parchment, are 2 coffee
beans. Approximately 4000 beans are needed to produce one pound
of roasted coffee, making it one of the few commodities that requires
enormous human effort.
word "coffee" meaning the drink, is a modified form
of the Turkish kahveh, which in turn is derived from the Arabic
kahwa or qahwah. The African word for the coffee plant was bun
which then became the Arabic bunn, meaning both the plant and
the berry. Coffee has been used since ancient times for healing
and medicinal purposes.
coffee was only consumed as part of a religious ceremony or on
the advice of a physician. Once doctors observed the beneficial
effects of coffee, it was prescribed more frequently. Coffee has
been used to treat an astounding variety of diseases, ranging
from kidney stones and gout to smallpox, measles and coughs.
a follower of Galen and Hippocrates who lived in Persian Iraq,
compiled a medical encyclopedia in which he referred to the bean
as bunchum. His work on the healing properties of coffee led to
the belief that coffee was known as a medicine over 1000 years
ago. Similar references appear in the writings of Avicenna (AD
908-1037), another distinguished Muslim physician and philosopher.
Europe, coffee beans were originally used by individual botanists
but soon became standard features in the apothecary shops, where
they were a vital part of the treatment collection used by 17th
century herbalists, chemists and even housewives. Today, the caffeine
in coffee has been shown to increase mental functioning and even
memory - when used in moderation. Too much however, can reduce
concentration and cause nervousness or jitters.
ancient Turkey, many well to do households kept coffee stewards,
whose sole responsibility was to attend to the preparation and
service of coffee. The Chief Steward, or Kahveghi, had the privilege
of an "apartment " (little more than a cupboard )located
next to the coffee hall where visitors were received. The hall
was decorated with richly coloured rugs and pillows and gleaming
ornamental coffee pots. Coffee was served on silver or painted
wooden trays large enough to hold up to 20 porcelain coffee dishes.
These were always half-filled, not only to prevent spilling, but
so that the dish could be held with the thumb below and the two
fingers on the upper edge.
Japan, a country which was notably slow to take up coffee drinking
due to its historical partiality to tea, coffee was used to beautify
the skin. As it is believed that coffee contains elements beneficial
to healthy skin, huge vats or tubs of coffee beans are prepared
for individuals to lie in the roasted beans.
Germany, coffee was not accepted in the home until the second
half of the 18th century. This was due to a mixture of factors
- a long standing fondness for local beer, a general distrust
of things considered "un-German" as well as ongoing
prohibition, taxes & libel specifically directed against coffee.
trend was reflected in Bach's Coffee Cantata of 1732, a satirical
operetta which provides a musical insight into some of the prevailing
attitudes. It tells of the efforts of a stern father to check
his daughter's propensity for coffee-drinking by threatening to
make her choose between a husband and coffee. Unperturbed, the
daughter sings an aria which begins, "Ah, how Sweet coffee
tastes - lovelier than a thousand kisses, sweeter far than muscatel"
Coffee Quotations, are Lord Byron's: "And Mocha's berry,
from Arabia pure In small fine china cups, came in at last Gold
cups of filigree, made to secure the hand from burning, underneath
them place. Cloves, cinnamon and saffron, too, were boiled Up
with the coffee, which, I think, they spoiled." Then Napolean
Bonaparte's famous admission: "Strong coffee and plenty,
awakens me. It gives me warmth, an unusual force, a pain that
is not without pleasure. I would rather suffer than be senseless."
…and Balzac's: "The coffee falls into your stomach
and straightaway there is a general commotion. Ideas begin to
move like the battalions of the Grand Army on the battlefield
when the battle takes place. Things remembered arrive at full
gallop, ensign to the wind."
author can be reached at http://planetindia.net/maxwell
or his email: firstname.lastname@example.org
) 900words. 25.08.2003: Copy Right © Maxwell Pereira: 3725
Sec-23, Gurgaon-122002. You can interact with the author at http://
www.maxwellperira.com and email@example.com
Profile | Achievements | Awards||
|| Press Clipping | Publications
| Photo Gallery ||
Book | E-mail |