Arabia coffee was first used as a
It evolved into a religious and meditational
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."
of Muslim religious rituals that involved
sipped coffee started opening secular
establishments in Mecca -- coffeehouses
known by the Turkish name kaveh
about Turkish Coffee HERE)
the 13th Century Arabian Qahveh
(Coffee) houses serving
the drink had become very popular.
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
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.