Marsh & Beltline - Addison, TX
We have a standing date - the 2nd Saturday of every month
Next Show Saturday, April 14th - 2007
8:00 - 11:30 PM
3725 Belt Line Road
Addison, Texas 75001
Fax: (972) 406-9712
Hours: M-Th 5:30 - 10:30 pm
Fri 5:30 - 12:00 am
Sat 6:00 - 12:00 am
Sun 7:00 - 10:30 pm
Free Internet Access
The History of Coffee
The origin of coffee remains shrouded in the legends and myths of the Middle East. One legend tells of Kaldi, an Abyssinian (Ethiopian) goatherd who one day found his heard frolicking at around a cluster of shiny, dark-leaved shrubs bearing red berries. When Kaldi tasted the berries himself, he realized what had prompted the goat's uncharacteristic behavior. Kaldi shared his discovery with the inhabitants of a nearby monastery, who developed a fondness for the fruit and its seeds-the coffee beans encased in each berry. By drinking the beverage that resulted from boiling the berries, the monks found they could stay awake during evening prayers. Another legend attributes the discovery of coffee to Omar, and Arabian dervish (a Muslim mystic). Exiled by his enemies to the wilderness-where he faced certain starvation-Omar survived by making a broth from water and the berries he plucked from coffee trees.
Whether it was Kaldi or Omar who first discovered it, coffee is considered native to the African country of Ethiopia. At least 1,000 years ago, some enterprising traders brought coffee across the Red sea into Arabia (modern-day Yemen) where Muslim monks began cultivating the shrubs in their gardens. At first, the Arabians made wine from the pulp of the fermented coffee berries. Thus coffee became known a "Qahwah," which is the Arabic word for wine, from which the modernly word coffee derives. This beverage was known as "Qishr", now known a "Kisher" and was used during religious ceremonies. Coffee became the substitute beverage in spiritual practice in place of wine where wine was forbidden. The Ethiopians ground the beans and mixed them with animal fat for a quick pick-me-up snack. To this day the Ethiopians hold an elaborate coffee ceremony in which Frankincense is lit as green coffee is ceremoniously roasted, ground, and tenderly served black as night and sweet as love. Initially, the coffee beverage was prepared from green, un-roasted beans boiled in water; in the late 13th century, the Arabians improved upon this tea like beverage by roasting and grinding the coffee beans before adding them to boiling water. In addition to its religious connotations, coffee captured the attentions of physicians who prescribed it as a medicine. Coffee was attached with claims longevity, calmed nerves, increased stamina, and even in enemas made from the beverage itself. In the 10th century the noted Arabian physician Rhazes first mentions the physical effects of coffee in medical texts. As coffee's "powers" spread, it increasingly became a social beverage. Throughout Mecca, coffeehouses developed, known as "Kaveh Kanes" opened to meet the public's demand for the drink.
Beyond Arabia's Borders
With time the Arabians carefully protected their monopoly on much of the trade and market of coffee by forbidding uncooked berries to be taken out of the country. Their efforts, however, were thwarted by thousands of religious pilgrims who visited Mecca each year. By the early 1500's, coffee seeds had already made their way to Turkey, Egypt and Syria. Constantinople, Damascus and other near Eastern Cities all boasted their Arabian influenced coffeehouses - essentially places where patrons lingered over coffee, conversation, games of backgammon and chess. These early coffeehouses also introduced coffee to European business travelers and traders whose sought new crops for their young outposts and colonies. The Dutch were the first to transport and cultivate coffee commercially, beginning in 1616 with a coffee plant obtained from Yemen. (Imagine the tender loving care these first coffee tree seedlings received.) By 1658 the Dutch had begun cultivation in Ceylon and their East Indian colony of Java. The coffee trees flourished in the warm climates, giving rise to coffee's nickname "Java." In 1714, The Mayor of Amsterdam presented Louis XIV with a coffee plant from Java. The French king, who loved the taste of coffee, entrusted the plant's care and cultivation to the royal court botanist. In a few short years, offshoots of the original Yemen born, Javanese coffee trees were on their way across the Atlantic.
Into the New World
The credit for bringing coffee to the New World goes to Gabriel Mathieu de Clieu, a French naval Officer who believed the plant would do well in Martinique's warm temperatures and rich soils. In about 1720, he set sail for the French colony with three seedlings. The seedlings were obtained - somewhat illegally from the Royal Jardin de Plantes (the Royal Hothouse), surrounded in what historians note as a cloud of court intrigue. Mr. de Clieu and his seedlings eluded the French court but faced what would become a perilous transatlantic voyage. De Clieu and seedlings managed to survive the trip, despite avoiding attack and capture by pirates, the violent storms of the Atlantic, and becalmed waters. Fresh water became so scarce it was rationed, and de Clieu shared his water portion with the coffee plant. His devotion paid off. Once planted on de Clieu's estate in Martinique, the seedling thrived and flourished. These coffee trees became the progenitor of most of the coffee grown in the French colonies. Coffee was introduced to many of the countries in the new world, including the New English colonies who would soon turn to easily accessed coffee imported from just due south of their sphere of influence, versus the outrageously taxed teas imported from clear across the Atlantic.
The South American Connection
Like the Arabians before them, the Dutch and the French carefully guarded their coffee seedlings. The Dutch had successfully brought coffee from Java to Dutch owned Guiana (Surinam) in South America while the French cultivated their crops in neighboring French Guiana. When a border dispute arises, Francisco de Melo Palheta, a Portuguese Brazilian official is asked to arbitrate. Palheta, an army officer with a reputation as a ladies man, saw a multifaceted opportunity; to romance the wife of the French Guiana's governor, as well as reach a settlement between the French and the Dutch, and along the way obtain coffee seeds or seedlings. His reward for a settlement was a farewell bouquet from his paramour in which were hidden several coffee tree seedlings. Once planted in Paleta's estate in Brazil, these seedlings thrived and flourished in the tropical climate and rich soils. By the end of the 18th Century, coffee had become a highly profitable export crop for the Portuguese colony. Today Brazil is this planet's largest producer and exporter of coffee, supplying one third of the world; more than any other coffee producing country."