When was coffee first brewed?

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An interesting thing about the use of coffee is that it was first enjoyed without being brewed. East African tribes have used the fruit of the coffee tree for centuries as an article of food. They would roast the berries in an open pan or prepare them with animal fat and then eat them. What they enjoyed was the stimulating effect the coffee berries had.

The first coffee plants probably grew in Kaffa, a province of Ethiopia. This province may have given coffee its name. In the 14th-century Arabian merchants came to Kaffa and became acquainted with the coffee seeds. They then began cultivating coffee in Yemen. There the people began to brew coffee. The followers of Mohammed were forbidden to drink wine, and coffee was a stimulating beverage that could take the place of wine for them.

About the middle of the 15th century, the use of coffee as a beverage spread from Yemen to Mecca, and from there to Baghdad, Cairo, Damascus, and other places. There were coffeehouses in Cairo as early as 1511.

Coffee was first introduced to Western Europe around 1615. It created quite a lot of excitement, and many people were against the idea of drinking coffee. They thought it was poisonous. But coffeehouses soon became a part of the social life of England.

In fact, so many people used to gather in coffeehouses that King Charles II was afraid plots against the government were being hatched there. He ordered them closed. But by this time coffee was so popular that he was forced to open them again.