Solid Coffee and Other Oddities

Once again, we like to think of drinking coffee as a thing of the day – the quintessential contemporary ceremony to get the day started – but it isn’t quite that simple. Frappuccinos may go out of fashion at some point, while coffee has been enjoyed by many all over the planet atleast from the 10th century CE – and in a form that’s very much different than the one we know.

Did you know, as a matter of fact, that the very same drink that’s the reason behind the raging coffee culture in Mississauga, Amsterdam or Singapore was chewed in its very first years? Yes indeed, the first coffee drinkers in history were not so much sippers as they were eaters, and they downed the ripened red berries thinking that the energy they felt right after was in the pulp there, not so much in the seed.

In a later discovery, the fruit itself – without its precious beans – was made into a cream, that was in turn shaped into the ancestor of all protein bars. The way coffee was consumed changed again before the early 1200s: the fermented fruit was made into a black, alcoholic wine-like drink, which can maybe explain why the Arabic word for coffee, as explained in another section of this site, referred to, well, wine. This very same version of the beverage is at the origin of the much more “solid” coffee that can be had to this day in Turkey. It was only in the 13th century that, finally, connoisseurs in the Middle East started to roast the beans en-masse, reducing them into a fine powder only to have it filtered with hot water.

This is how the legend took shape – or better still, how did it lost its own! Now, when you hold your precious cup while pondering about the way coffee culture has taken over Mississauga, you know you owe your liquid lifesaver to an unknown’s intuition, back in the (very distant) day…

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