Being a self-proclaimed Chai-vist (tea advocate), absolute tea lover and fanatic, I tend to have little to no feelings at all about coffee. I obviously couldn’t get myself to pen a paragraph or two without burning out my brain cells and bleeding my fingers on the keyboard. So I thought, why not a get someone who’s very passionate and knowledgeable about coffee, a barista and writer for that matter, to write about it? Well ladies and gentleman, here’s a debut post by Dennis Wakaba (@RockstarOzil_) about matters coffee. Get Caffeine-educated 🙂 Enjoy the read
Coffee was first discovered in Ethiopia by a guy called Kaldis, in case you’ve been wondering where the name of that coffee shop next to Nation Centre came from.
It was on a cold morning when Kaldis took his flock to graze. He noted that his goats, upon eating the berries of a certain plant, became excited and would jump and ‘dance’ all over like a week old ram would do. Out of curiosity, he must have thought to himself, ‘if my goats are getting this excited, would be a great idea if I tried the berries out for myself too’ getting jealous of his goats and all.
His curiosity led him to discover the most precious drink after playing around with the beans, gridding, roasting and all that. Yes, you can hardly discovers stuff if you’re not curious. It later spread from Ethiopia to Asia, Yemen in particular and later on to the rest of the Arab countries making it popular amongst the Muslims. It then spread to Europe, Americas and now back to Africa. This somehow reminds of the civilization that began in Egypt, spread to Asia, Europe and then back to Africa. Seems like our ancestors did not trust much their own until the westerners did. Or did they?
The popularity with which the drinks was amongst the Muslim made it not acceptable amongst the Christians and anyone found drinking it would be persecuted. As the popularity of the drink was spreading across the continents, the then Pope, Pope Clement VIII, upon finding out that no one would do away with it and it’s tendency to replace wine as the favourite drink, he tasted it and on that day he declared that “This devil’s drink is so delicious…we should cheat the devil by baptizing it!” The reason behind it being referred to as the Devils drink is as of course stated earlier that it was much associated with non- believers, in this case the Muslims. The baptismal of the drink made its fame to raise and spread like bush fire.
With time, out of curiosity, people around the world have treasured the drink so much that they keep experimenting with it and out of their experiments, brings along with it the wide variety of coffee flavours, ranging from, what one would say is just but a normal cup of coffee they prepare at home, to flavours that require yo
u to use a machine and even alcoholic coffee drinks that have been made, presumably by folks who thought they would not suspend their drinking habits in favour of coffee and thus the need to incorporate the two. Did I say the alcoholic coffee drinks were first made in Ireland? You can now relate the two.
Ethiopia is since then known to have the best coffee in the world mostly because of the favourable climate conditions and soil. An interesting fact you should know is that coffee does well in the area with Acidic soil and that is the main reason why in Kenya, the coffee produced in central province has the best quality, notably Nyeri, Karatina and Meru because of the volcanic soil found in the area. However, Kiambu produced the most coffee but that can’t match the quality in Nyeri.
With the much importance it was accorded, the government back in the day went as far as banning the farmers from intercropping so as not to affect the quality. It was made illegal to uproot coffee plantations; anyone found doing this would be jailed. Farmers were banned from milling the coffee in their homes; they were only allowed to process it. They would remove the outer skin, dry the beans and then sell them to registered millers. All this was an effort by the government to ensure quality control.
In the next post, we start to look into different coffee flavours, their preparation, what to look into your cup of Latte Machiatto/Mocha/Cappuccino, what is it made of and when it is most favourable to have it.