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Do you realize the intricate and varied history of coffee as you sip on a cup of
coffee? There is a long and entertaining story of how coffee was invented, how
it migrated to your particular cup and an unending effort to produce the many
flavours of coffee that continue to make it such a popular beverage.Each country
has added its taste preference and its own way of brewing as coffee spread
around the world. This has resulted in a plethora of coffee drinks for us all to
savor and enjoy. The unique customs across cultures has also added to this
ritual of drinking coffee.Where is your favourite coffeehouse? Coffeehouses
became very popular as news about the magical powers of coffee spread from
Ethiopian shepherds and monks in Ethiopia to all corners of the world.Despite
the popularity of the coffeehouses, they were at times deemed immoral. They were
accused of drawing men away from their obligations to their homes and religious
beliefs. Coffee drinking was even forbidden periodically because of these evils.
However, the bans on coffee drinking did not last long due to the strong appeal
of the pleasurable drink. The suppression of coffee drinking based on religious
and political grounds was only a moment in time and coffee became a universal
drink in the Arab lands. Coffee was eventually considered a moral and sober
alternative to wine and spirit drinks. Coffee became a household word and was
adopted into social customs as a featured beverage.In Arabia, coffee was thrown
at the feet of the bride as a religious offering. In the country of Turkey,
coffee became a staple in the home. Failure to keep a supply of coffee for one's
wife in the home was considered grounds for divorce in Turkey.As travelers from
Europe returned home they brought with them tales of the exotic coffee beverage.
Coffee was regarded by some Westerners as the devil's hellish brew. Despite this
horrible reputation of coffee for some Westerners, it became a Christian drink
with the blessing of Pope Clement VIII who loved the taste of coffee.For
centuries coffee distribution was controlled by the Arabs. They held a tight and
zealous monopoly on the cultivation of the coffee plant until the 17th century.
In the 17th century Dutch traders managed to steal some viable seeds and started
commercial plantations in Indonesia.It was not long until a French officer under
the rule of King Louis XIV felt that the coffee plants should grow equally well
in the French colonies of the West Indies. Gabriel Mathieu de Clieux and a
gardener stole a cutting from a coffee plant in King Louis XIV's botanical
gardens. He planted the cutting in a glass trunk and sat sail for the West
Indies. His journey was not easy. More than once Clieux placed his life on the
line for his precious cargo. He fought off a Dutch spy who managed to tear off
one of the plant's limbs. He shared his ration of water with the plant when all
the sailors were near to perishing of thirst. Clieux finally arrived at the
island of Martinique and this one single plant started commercial coffee
plantations that successfully rivaled the plantations of the Dutch. It is ironic
to note that the initial cutting was taken from the coffee plant that was given
to King Louis XIV as a gift from the Dutch!King Louis XIV had a passion for
coffee and enjoyed preparing it for guests in his golden coffeepot. After
plantations started in Martinique a few years later a young Portuguese officer
from Brazil charmed the French governor's wife in French Guiana. She secretly
saved some coffee cuttings to present to him as a token of her love for him. The
Portuguese officer planted the cuttings in Brazil and began what are now the
largest coffee plantations in the world.This article is FREE to publish with the
resource box. 2007 Connie Limon All Rights Reserved