[Sca-cooks] Questions on coffee

H Westerlund-Davis yaini0625 at yahoo.com
Wed Jan 27 10:45:30 PST 2010

<The earliest reliable evidence of drinking coffee as we know it...
roasted beans ground and brewed with hot water... comes from Sufi
monasteries in the Yemen in the mid 15th c.>
I read that the Sufi's used it to help enhance their dervishes. Caffine enhanced spinning..... WOW!

Apparently, it had been also prescribed as a "remedy" for too much meat by Swedish doctors in the 1500's. 

This is later period... Starting in the 1800's the Swedish and Finnish governments banned alcohol. It is said that is why coffee became the national drink. 

Does any one of information on King Louis (not sure which number) having a coffee plant in his garden? Just got a hint of it last night... Not much more was said. 

While I think the caffine addicted goats is mostly legend, there may be some validity behind it. Most legends have an element of truth behind it. Is it the original source of the addiction.. probably not.



Duct Tape is like the Force: It has a light side & a dark side
and it holds the universe together.

From: "lilinah at earthlink.net" <lilinah at earthlink.net>
To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org
Sent: Wed, January 27, 2010 10:00:09 AM
Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Questions on coffee

Stefan forwarded some wild fantasies about coffee from another list.

First, many scholars today are leaning toward what is now Ethiopia, formerly known as Abyssinia, as the place from which coffee originated, although the Yemen has also been under consideration.

That whole dancing goats and their goat boy herder story is complete fantasy, although all over the web.

>  * Coffee seems to have been drunk in Persia since the ninth century.

Coffee appears to have reached Persia in the 16th c. It was known during the reign of Shah Abbas I (1587 to 1629), but likely got there a bit earlier.

>  * Abu ibn Sina, known in the West as Avicenna, was acquainted with coffee around the year 1000.

Bun is mentioned earlier by 9th & 10th c. Persian physician abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi, known in Europe as Rhazes (865-925).

Perhaps someone confused him with mostly 11th c. Persian physician and philosopher Abu 'Ali al-Husayn ibn 'Abd Allah ibn Sina', known in Europe as Avicenna (c. 980-1037), who also mentioned bun.

Coffee was first used as a medication (hot and dry). However, it was the covering of coffee, known as bun, that was used, often made into a beverage. In some places bun refers to the coffee bean, and later the green beans were chewed... well before coffee beans were roasted and ground

The earliest reliable evidence of drinking coffee as we know it... roasted beans ground and brewed with hot water... comes from Sufi monasteries in the Yemen in the mid 15th c.

>  * 1475. The first coffee shop opens in Istanbul (Kiva Han).  It is still open.

While coffee was being drunk in Syria in the late 15th c., it didn't reach Istanbul until the mid 16th c. The first coffee shop opened in 1554, and, as far as i can determine, it is no longer open.

One of the most reliable sources, although not the only one, is:
Ralph S. Hattox
Coffee and Coffeehouses: The Origins of a Social Beverage in the Medieval Near East
Near Eastern Studies, #3.
University of Washington Press
Softcover, 1985
ISBN 0295962313

I served coffee at the end of a 16th c. Ottoman feast i cooked somewhat over 2 years ago, using palace recipes.

Constantinople/Istanbul is in Europe, but it isn't what most SCAdians think of as a typical European city. While some Western Europeans knew about coffee in the late 16th c., it doesn't seem to have made it to Christian Europe until the 17th c.

-- Urtatim [that's err-tah-TEEM]
the persona formerly known as Anahita
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