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The history of coffee part #1 / #Coffee_roasting_machine

Updated: Oct 16, 2023

There is lack of information about the history of coffee. The coffee history is being updated over time regarding to emerging information. You will find some landmarks on the following pages.


The discovery of coffee

Studies on the fossils recently found in Yemen are still in progress. Figures like coffee beans are seen in hieroglyphs of Luwians, lately taken over by Hittite Kingdom which first evidenced around 1650-1600 BC (~3.500 years ago) and dominated a large region around their capital Hattusa / Boğazkale of modern-day Çorum, Turkey.

coffee roasting machine and history

Recently, most people agree that wild coffee trees were first seen in mountainous areas of Ethiopia. There are evidences in the latest researches describing the southern region of Sudan as the origin of Arabica cultivation. Ethiopian tribesman used to bake a kind of bread after flouring seeds of coffee plant in around 900 BC. The juice of the coffee berries so called “the magical fruit” was boiled and drunk for medical purposes.


Coffee and its knowledge rapidly spread along the Arabian Peninsula and people continued to prepare and drink it the way it was discovered in Abyssinia 300 years ago. Regarding the origin of coffee, there are various rumors in Arabic - Islamic literature.


The most known is that the Gabriel Angel proposed Muhammad coffee to give him more strength, resistance and stamina. 2 According to a rumor in Cihannüma, the well-known geography book of Katip Çelebi, when Sheikh Shazili (d.1418) and his disciples, who were exiled to Usab mountains by the Yemen Emperor, suffered from finding food, they ate coffee fruits and drank the boiled juice of coffee berries, and they found out that coffee gave them endurance and energy. The disciples drank coffee especially at night to stay vigorous and awake.


It is recorded in the epistle "Umdet-üs Saffe fî Hill-il Kahve" (14th century) of El-Cezîrî, one of the earliest texts about coffee, İbn Abdülgaffar told that coffee was a very popular beverage in Yemen and was spread all the way to Cairo. El-Cezîrî also reports that coffee was consumed by Sûfis at night rituals to keep their minds clear.


Western researchers notify that in preislamic period, a kind of North Arabian red wine was called "gah-va". Though the West has limited information about the Middle-Eastern coffee culture, almost all the popular western sources declare that coffee is a considerable part of the Arabic culture for more than 700 years.


Coffee, as a common beverage in Arabian Peninsula and Northern Africa, was once consumed excessively. Since coffee is addictive and became to be over-consumed, a fetwa was given in 1511 in Mecca forbidding coffee drinking and trading in order to avoid the stimulant effects. The word bunn ("me" in Turkish), which the Western nations based it on "bin" in Arabic language, actually means coffee in Amhari language of Ethiopia.


According to El-Cezîrî, the 16th century Arabic author, the first person who drank coffee is Cemalleddin Ebu Abdullah Muhammed İbn’i Said from Yemen, known as Arab Ez-Zebhânî. El-Cezîrî tells that during a trip to Ethiopia from Aden, Zebhânî met people drinking coffee and when he got back to Aden, he became sick and suddenly remembered to drink coffee. Getting well, Zebhânî discovered coffee; overcoming the fatigue, exhaustion, and giving freshness and energy.


Another rumor from generation to generation describes Solomon as the first person drinking coffee. The rumor continues as; Solomon, while traveling, saw many people suffering from an unknown disease, and served them a beverage extracted by boiling the roasted coffee beans upon the Gabriel Angel's order. The patients who drank coffee got well. 2 Following this method of roasting and grinding, coffee started to be consumed in Aden in 1470s and Cairo in 1510.


The claim about calling the coffeehouses in Arabia "kaveh kanas" is based on the journeyers writing "Gahva (Arabic) Hâne (Farsi)” in Latin words as “Cahveh Kaneh, Cahveh Khaneh” or “Cahwe Khane”.


Since the temporary prohibition in Mecca was limited in time and region, the custom of coffeehouses rapidly spread among the Arabs and Muslims by muslim hadjis. So coffeehouses became popular places where people played chess, rumored, sang and danced. Coffee penetrated Turkish Empire in Yavuz Sultan Selim period (1517) following Özdemir Pasha, the Yemen Governor, bringing coffee to İstanbul from Yemen for he was very fond of it.


Within a very short time, coffee took its prestigious place in the court kitchen and attracted great attention. "Chief coffee maker" was added to palace task description list as a new rank. The chief coffee maker who was in charge of making the emperor's or any statesman's coffee was selected among the most trustable, faithful and secretive men. Moreover, some chief coffee makers were seen to become grand viziers in Ottoman


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