The history of coffee is said to begin in the 9th century in Ethiopia. However, the cultivation and trade of coffee only became popular in the 15th century by Arab traders in Yemen. Coffee reached Europe in the 17th century but could not grow well there. European nations then used their colonies to cultivate coffee plants. Indonesia, which is occupied by the Netherlands, has a big share in the history and distribution of types of coffee in the world.
For further review, let’s refer to the following world coffee history articles & Indonesia. Hopefully, it can add to your horizons about this world’s excellent drink.
Read too: Complete Coffee Information
The Origin of Coffee
The history of coffee is closely related to the Muslim civilization of the Caliphate era. Muslim civilization has a great influence on the development of world civilization, both in terms of science, technology, culture, art, literature, and even culinary. The culture of drinking coffee is one of them.
1. Muslim Coffee Drinking Culture
It is said that coffee plants were first discovered in mainland Africa, precisely in areas that are part of the country of Ethiopia, namely Abyssinia. Ethiopian people started consuming it since the 9th century. At that time coffee was not widely known in the world.
Coffee beans became commercial after being brought by Arab traders to Yemen in the mid-15th century. Coffee was popularized as a drink by Muslims. The term coffee is also born from Arabic, qahwah which means strength.
Thanks to a civilization that is more advanced than Africa, Arabs cultivate their own coffee and export it to the corners of the world. Muslims began to distribute coffee through the Port of Mocha, Yemen.
Based on the coffee history literature, this drink was once the main commodity in the Islamic world. Coffee drinks are very popular among pilgrims to the city of Mecca even though it has been declared a prohibited drink several times. The pilgrims drink it to ward off sleepiness and stay awake while worshiping at night.
2. Era of Caliphate and Spread of Coffee to Europe
During the Caliphate of the Ottoman Turks in the 15th century, coffee became the main dish at every celebration. Through Turkey, this black-brown bitter drink began to be known and liked by Europeans.
Cultural and linguistic differences make the Turks call qahwah kahveh. Starting from here then the Dutch people know and call it coffee.
European Christians adopted the habit of drinking coffee because it was closely related to the grandeur and wealth of the Ottoman Turks. At that time, Arabica coffee was a prima donna and even became a middle-class beverage in England in the 1600s.
Coffee then becomes an important commodity in the world. Europeans try to cultivate it themselves. However, these efforts often fail because coffee plants cannot grow well there.
Because it cannot grow well in its country, several countries in Europe bring this plant to other regions. Usually, they make use of their colony or colony.
The Legend of the Origin of Coffee Drinks
There are two legendary stories about the history of coffee. The legend is about Khaldi who met the goats, and Omar who worked as a physician. These two myths tell the beginning of humans began to consume coffee.
Both stories are very famous and worldwide. Anyone who tries to trace the history of coffee will meet these two myths.
1. Khaldi and the Dancing Goat
This story is a myth that was born in Ethiopia. Along with the distribution of coffee in the world, this story was spread verbally to the legend.
That said, there lived a goat-herding man named Khaldi in the range of 850. One day, his goats jumped up and down with excitement like he was dancing. Investigate a calibration, he found his goat had eaten red berries from an unfamiliar tree.
Intrigued by his goat, Khaldi tried the fruit. After eating it, he became as excited as his goats.
Khaldi related what he had experienced to the ascetic or monk. The monk was then interested in trying the magical fruit. He can also be stronger and stay up all night without being sleepy to pray.
Because the fruit was very bitter, the monk began to process it. He tried roasting and brewing the fruit. Since then coffee began to be known as a drink that can increase energy and drive out drowsiness.
2. Omar the Sufi Physician
One day, there lived a Sufi physician in the city of Mocha, Yemen. He was named Ali bin Omar al Shadili and is usually called Omar.
Omar is known as a physician who combines medical action with prayer. Almost all diseases he can heal in that way. He became a famous and trusted physician in the city of Mocha.
Omar’s popularity was not liked by local authorities. Every effort was made to bring down Omar, such as gossiping about him, he had allied himself with Satan to heal his patients. Eventually, the community expelled Omar from Mocha.
Omar went away and lived in a cave outside the city of Mocha. When he began to starve, he found a bush full of red berries.
Omar thinks that the fruit is a sign that God wants to save him. He also ate the fruit to drive out his hunger. Because the taste of red berries is bitter, everything is done to process the fruit to the seeds.
Omar’s efforts did not produce results because he still could not enjoy the fruit. He also only drinks the liquid from the fruit seeds to satisfy his thirst. Unexpectedly, the liquid he drinks can refresh his body.
Long story short, many patients come to the cave and ask Omar to cure people’s illnesses again. Omar began using steeping water from the berries as a panacea. The water is also famous and is called by the name Mocha.
Types of Coffee Plants
There are more than 100 species, or types of coffee known. But most of it doesn’t taste good or has a small crop.
There are only three types of coffee that are popular in the world, namely Arabica (Coffea arabica), Robusta (Coffea canephora var. Robusta), and Liberika (Coffea liberica). The following is a review of the three types of coffee.
Coffea arabica or commonly known as arabica is the first coffee found in Ethiopia and by the Arabs spread throughout the world. The name arabica was then used because of the role of the Arabs in spreading the coffee beans. Arabica is also the first type of coffee brought to Indonesia by the Dutch.
Arabica plants can grow well at an altitude of 1,000-2,000 meters above sea level. In the lower plains, this plant can actually still grow. However, the growth will not be optimal and is very susceptible to pests.
Arabica seeds contain low caffeine so their taste and aroma are more prominent. The hallmark of Arabica coffee is its sour taste and the color of steeping which is not too thick.
Arabica coffee is the most popular type because it can produce several varieties with unique and different aromas. In fact, the same arabica plant can produce new coffee varieties if planted in different areas. In Indonesia, we can find and enjoy various Arabica varieties, ranging from Aceh to Papua.
Because of the different types and tastes, arabica is more in demand than Robusta coffee. The price is also more expensive because the treatment of Arabica plants is more difficult than Robusta. About 70% of the world’s coffee production is arabica.
This robusta coffee plant is Latin named Coffea canephora var. Robusta and is believed to be first discovered in Congo. This species is actually a subspecies or variety of Coffea canephora.
There are at least two main varieties of Coffea canephora, namely Robusta and Nganda. However, between the two, robusta is more popular, so the name is often used to refer to canephora.
The name robusta is taken from the word robust which means strong. Unfortunately, although this plant is stronger and more resistant to pests than Arabica, its fruit quality is lower.
Indonesia is one of the biggest robusta coffee producers after Vietnam and Brazil in global trade. More than 80% of plantations in Indonesia are planted with Robusta.
It is said that Robusta was originally imported to Indonesia by the Dutch to replace the production of Arabica coffee types because of its easier maintenance. Because of this, robusta coffee plants are more commonly found in Indonesia than Arabica. Robusta coffee has once led Indonesia to become the largest coffee exporter in the world.
Robusta coffee plants can grow well at an altitude of 0-900 or ideally 400-800 meters above sea level. The average temperature needed to grow is around 24-30 ° C with rainfall of 1,500-3,000 mm per year.
Robusta has a strong, rough taste and tends to be more bitter than Arabica. Therefore, it is very suitable for use in coffee drinks that use a mixture of milk such as latte, cappuccino, mochaccino, and other processed milk coffee. In addition, Robusta is also widely used as raw material for instant coffee.
Robusta coffee beans have a cheaper price than Arabica. This is caused by its easy maintenance and very resistant to various plant diseases. Robusta coffee accounts for around 28% of the world’s coffee production.
Coffea liberica or the first liberika coffee found in the country of Liberia. Many people assume that this plant originated from the area. Though liberika is also found growing wild in other African regions.
Liberika trees can reach 18 meters high. The size of the fruit is bigger than Arabica and Robusta. Even though the fruit is large, the weight of the dried fruit is only 10% of the wet weight.
Weight depreciation when harvested is certainly less favored by farmers. Harvest costs become more expensive. This makes farmers reluctant to develop liberal coffee so that its production and distribution are not as busy as Arabica and Robusta.
Although it is still cultivated in some areas, the level of liberal production is the lowest of the other types. Liberal production is only about 1-2% of world coffee production.
There is one popular variant of liberica coffee which was originally considered to be a species of its own, namely excelsa. A botanist from France, Jean Paul Antoine Lebrun classifies excelsa as one of the varieties of liberation. In 2006, excelsa was recognized and formalized under the scientific name Coffea liberica var. dewerei.
History of Coffee in Indonesia
Many people think that coffee is an authentic Indonesian commodity, even though coffee is not a native plant in Indonesia. The coffee plant originated from Ethiopia which was then spread by Arabs to penetrate European and Asian markets. Coffee entered Indonesia during the Dutch colonial period which invaded and launched the Cultivation System.
1. The entry of the Netherlands into Indonesia
The history of coffee in Indonesia began in 1696. At that time, the Dutch on behalf of the VOC (Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie) landed on Java bringing coffee from Malabar, India. The coffee that was first brought was an Arabica type.
The Dutch tried to cultivate the coffee plant in Batavia but failed because of the earthquake and flood. They did not give up and bring back new seeds. The rapid development of cultivation led the Dutch to open new fields in Sumatra, Sulawesi, Bali, Timor, and other islands in the Dutch East Indies which is now known as Indonesia.
In the 1700s, coffee became a VOC mainstay commodity. Sales of coffee beans from the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) exploded to exceed exports from Mocha, Yemen to several countries in Europe. The Netherlands also monopolized the world coffee market at that time.
At that time, one of the world’s coffee production centers was in Java. A cup of coffee is then more popularly called the cup of Java or a cup of Java.
2. Robusta Replaces Arabica as the Main Commodity
History of Coffee – History of Coffee in Indonesia
In 1876, the Karat Daun pest attacked almost all coffee plantations in Indonesia. The Netherlands then brought in another type of coffee, namely liberika. However, the same fate, after being attacked by leaf rust.
Pest attacks do not make the Netherlands lose their mind. In 1900, they brought a type of Robusta coffee that was easier to maintain and more resistant to pests. Its high production has made Indonesia the largest exporting field in the world.
3. Revival of the Indonesian Coffee Plantation
After independence, after the Dutch East Indies government left Indonesia, the pace of coffee plantations was also slightly hampered. However, thanks to the persistence of the farmers and the nationalization of the plantation of the former Dutch East Indies government, eventually the coffee plantations gradually began to rise and develop.
There is at least one novel by Douwes Dekker entitled Max Havelaar that helps change public opinion about the Cultivation System. The novel revolves around a coffee trader and at the same time criticizes the arbitrariness of the Dutch East Indies government towards the people. Because of the novel’s role, there is one coffee blend product from Indonesia that uses the word Havelaar as the name of the product.
In the 2000s, Indonesian coffee again skyrocketed. Indonesia is included in the fourth largest coffee producing country in the world after Brazil, Vietnam, and Colombia. The diversity of coffee flavors grown in various regions in Indonesia is recognized by foreign countries.
The Development of Coffee Drinking Culture
History and Types of Coffee – Coffee Drinks
As time evolved, the culture of drinking coffee developed. There are at least three waves that show the types of coffee drinks that are popular in the world.
In an article in Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters in 2002, Trish Rothgeb defines three movements in the world of coffee. He called it the wave or waves.
1. First Wave
The first wave is known as First Wave Coffee. It began in the 1800s where coffee was prepared for an affordable price and was easily served. This era focuses on packaging innovation and practicality of presentation, namely instant coffee.
Instant coffee is very easily accepted by the public because it does not require complicated tools. It was even used by soldiers in the First World War in 1917 as a daily drink.
2. Second Wave
The emergence of the second wave, known as Second Wave Coffee, is because instant coffee is considered bad. Coffee drinkers want delicious coffee and knowledge about what they drink. In a way, this wave is a criticism of instant coffee in the first wave.
This era began in the 1960s and later began to be known terms and offerings of new coffee drinks. This is in line with the emergence of coffee shops that offer new style coffee drinks, namely espresso, latte, cappuccino, frappuccino, and others. People who originally enjoyed instant coffee at home or in the office began to move to the coffee shop. At the coffee shop, people don’t just come to enjoy the coffee. But also to chat with closest friends or discuss work problems.
3. Third Wave
The term Third Wave Coffee appeared in the early 2000s. Its emergence coincided with the emergence of the terms First Wave and Second Wave in the mapping of the world coffee drinking culture.
The third wave or Third Wave Coffee is marked by the interest of coffee drinkers in the journey of coffee since it is harvested until it is presented as a drink. People are starting to feel that a cup of coffee has a long and meaningful cultural experience. The trip includes where it was originally planted, the processing of seeds, and how they are served as a drink.
In this phase, the term origin appears, which is used as the identity of the area or garden where the type of coffee grows. This is done so that coffees can be more specifically identified because one coffee variety can give birth to different varieties and flavors if grown in different areas.
The quality and taste of coffee is really considered in-depth and in more detail. Indonesia itself has a number of well-known and worldwide coffee-producing regions. Among them are Gayo and Mandailing in Sumatra, Preanger in Java, Kintamani in Bali, even to Flores and Papua. These regions have different and unique types of coffee.
Not Just Drinks, But The Story Of Drinkers
Almost everywhere, people present coffee as a complement to their activities. Starting from waking up in the morning, in the middle of work, to when talking warmly with friends or colleagues. It can be at home, in the office, or narrow alleys in the corner of the city.
This legendary drink is not just a relieving thirst, but rather contains the story of the drinkers. Everyone gives their own meaning to the coffee in their cup. Similarly, the way to enjoy it is certainly different.
Maybe ancient people did not expect this mysterious planet could be transformed into a popular beverage universal.
Therefore, it is very good for us to know the history of coffee to get to know and understand this bitter black drink. After all, studying history is tantamount to respecting coffee itself.
In addition to this historical article and type of coffee, you can also visit other Kopipedia articles. That way, you will more easily interpret the philosophies contained in this legendary drink.