There are so many myths and legends surrounding this beverage that it has become impossible even to point to the origin of Coffee. A Yemenite Sufi mystic, a Sheik’s disciple, an Ethiopian Goat herder and an entire African ethnic group, all lay claim to the beverage’s discovery. We are not here to take sides, but to put to words some very unique Coffee phenomenon of our times, before myths and arguments take over.
At some point in time or on a regular basis we all have had Cappuccino. But how many of us know what exactly does Cappuccino mean? The word comes from the resemblance of the drink to the clothing of the Capuchin monks – the Catholic order of Capuchin is an offshoot of the Franciscans. As for who designed their gowns, that again is open to speculation like the origin of coffee.
It was during colonial times that the various Arabica varieties of coffee such as mocha and Java got their names. These various coffee beans are named after their ports of origin. Mocha is the name of the largest port in Yemen, where nearly all African coffee beans are traded and later transported. Similarly Java is the name of an Indonesian island with trading ports.
The custom of tipping waiters in restaurants also has its roots in coffee. During the 16th century coffee found its way into Europe through Venice, as the trading city state had very good links with both African and Arab merchants. Introduced as a drink for the wealthy, it spread across the various strata’s of society with the establishment of Coffee Houses. Soon such Coffee Houses began to mushroom all over Europe, loud, dirty and hectic places where customers needed to tip big to the waiters in order to receive good service.