Coffee... that dark, warm, stimulating potion. Legend says it was discovered by a shepherd named Kaldi, whose sheep were grazing on the red fruit of the lean bush. Kaldi took the fruit to the monks and that is how coffee began its journey around the world... Finally, in the first century AD, it reached Venice, where it was to become the synonym for time spent with loved ones and for pure, delightful pleasure.
The word coffee comes from the Arabic word qahwa, meaning "wine of the bean", and the land of its origin is the Kaffa province in Ethiopia. It was first used by the dervishes in their ceremonies, and was then slowly adopted into everyday life.
"Black as the devil, hot as hell, pure like an angel, and sweet like love..." is how it was once described by a French statesman in the 19th century. In Ethiopia, coffee ceremonies would sometimes last for over two hours, while in Yemen coffee was served in social occasions, just like it was in Asia. In England, for a time it was served with some interesting ingredients – such as mustard, butter and oats.
Not much has changed today. We still use it in social occasions, while enjoying music or art, eating cake and retelling experiences. Business meetings are unimaginable without coffee, which to this day serves as the symbol of gracious hospitality.
Roasting makes the coffee beans magically acquire an incredibly rich taste. Coffee that is not roasted is rich in carbohydrates but poor in taste. It requires roasting in order to stimulate the aromatic oils in the beans, the key to its specific taste. Can you feel the tempting smell of coffee?