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Part I - Journey To India . Part II - The Obsession . Part III - The Holy Drink . Part IV - The Coffee Houses . Part V - Coffee & Sex
Coffee History

 
Part II -- The Obsession

In Arabia coffee was first used as a medicine.
It evolved into a religious and meditational beverage.

Rhazes, a revered 9th Century doctor, philosopher and astronomer included bunchum, a word believed to mean coffee, in an encyclopedia of substances believed to cure iseases.

Avicenna, an 11th Century Islamic philosopher and physician said bunchum "fortifies the members, it cleans the skin, and dries up the humidities that are under it, and gives an excellent smell to all the body."

Followers of Muslim religious rituals that involved sipped coffee started opening secular establishments in Mecca -- coffeehouses known by the Turkish name kaveh (Qahveh) kanes. (Read more about Turkish Coffee HERE)

By the 13th Century Arabian Qahveh (Coffee) houses serving
the drink had become very popular.


Politicians, philosophers, artists, storytellers, students, travelers and tradesmen all gathered to hear musicians perform. These coffeehouses were filled with revelry, gambling, and spirited political, social and religious discussions.

Religious Muslims were outraged at the use of their sacramental drink being used in such a manner. They had a ban placed on coffeehouses, and in the mid-17th Century, first-time violators in Constantinople were cudgeled, and second-time offenders were sewn up in leather bags and thrown in the river!

Coffee's continued usage proved that even the the death penalty couldn't curb people's obsession with the glorious nectar. Rulers then decided that if coffeehouses were going to continue to exist they could profit through taxes. So they made coffee legal and taxed it heavily...

As coffee drinking caught on in Arabia and Turkey, voyagers and traders from Europe tasted the beverage and took news of it back to Europe. The Arabs jealously
tried to guard their plants from exportation (and exploitation) by not allowing seeds to leave the country unless they were roasted to prevent germination. However an Indian Moslem named Baba Budan on a pilgrimage to Arabia managed to smuggle coffee seeds out, and on his return home planted them in southern India.

Part I - Journey To India . Part II - The Obsession . Part III - The Holy Drink . Part IV - The Coffee Houses . Part V - Coffee & Sex


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