Ah, coffee! One cup of this liquid gold can lift you up and melt away your problems, even if just for a few fleeting moments. Can you imagine life, or even a day without it? All those early mornings and late nights would almost be unthinkable without coffee and yet we know very little about the miracle berry and how it made its way into our mugs.
From the coffee forests of 11th Century Ethiopia to the scenic estates of Coorg, the journey of coffee is full of flavour. Legend has it that an Ethiopian goatherd named Kaldi found his herd becoming more energetic after consuming some berries in the forest. Curious about its effects, he concocted a brew out of these berries and voila! Kahveor coffee was born.
The news of the energizing beans soon spread through the Arab world like wildfire. By the 15th Century coffee was being cultivated and traded across the Arabian Peninsula. Interestingly enough, this is also when coffee houses came into existence. Referred to as “Schools of the Wise,” coffee houses became important hubs for entertainment and conversation at the time.
By the 17th Century, Europe was introduced to the enchanting wonders of coffee. Travellers who had been East couldn’t stop raving about the new beverage and its stimulating properties. Soon enough, coffee replaced beer and wine as the breakfast drink of choice and coffee shops popped up all across England, France, Germany and Holland. The Dutch further expanded the reaches of coffee when they started cultivating it in their colonies like Indonesia and India.
Coffee to Kaapi
Long before the Dutch brought coffee plantation to India, a saint name Baba Budan planted the first seeds of coffee on the hills of Chikmagalur in Karnataka. The Sufi saint is said to have smuggled seven coffee seeds from his pilgrimage in Mecca to the lush lands of Mysore back in 1670. His act of bravery in a time when coffee export was strictly prohibited, (the Arabs were protecting their profits by only allowing the trade of roasted coffee) paved the way for India’s thriving coffee culture.
From its birthplace in what is now known as Baba Budangiri, coffee later spread across the southern states of India under the influence of the British in the 19th Century. Today, two centuries later, South Indian filter coffee has made it to kitchens and coffee filters all over the world! India – the home of filter coffee is the 4th largest exporter of coffee in the world with Coorg accounting for a majority of that crop.