Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Happy National Coffee Day!


I love coffee, though years ago I had to switch to decaf after a friend noted that my even my eyebrows looked tense.

However, when traveling, there is rarely an option for decaf, but it is fun to ask just to see the confused expressions. It really is true that when in Rome (or Kosovo, or Ethiopia) do as the locals do and drink as the locals drink. I fell in love with Turkish coffee on my first visit to the Balkans, and these Turkish proverbs say it all:

"Coffee should be black as Hell, strong as death, and sweet as love."

“A cup of coffee commits one to forty years of friendship."

In Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee, the coffee ceremony is a tradition of hospitality for guests. I never experienced the full ceremony as described here, from roasting to drinking, but I was honored to be served homemade coffee, thick, dark and delicious, and watched this woman roasting beans.


"According to national folklore, the origin of coffee is firmly rooted in Ethiopia's history. Their most popular legend concerns the goat herder from Kaffa, where the plants still grow wild in the forest hills. After discovering his goats to be excited, almost dancing on their hind legs, he noticed a few mangled branches of the coffee plant which was hung with bright red berries. He tried the berries himself and rushed home to his wife who told him that he must tell the monks. The monks tossed the sinful drug into the flames, an action soon to be followed by the smell we are all so familiar with now. They crushed the beans, raked them out of the fire, and distilled the stimulating substance in boiling water. Within minutes the monastery filled with the heavenly aroma of roasting beans, and the other monks gathered to investigate. After sitting up all night, they found a renewed energy to their holy devotions. The rest, as they say, is history. " ~Epicurean.com

(That's a no-brainer. From Art in my coffee!)

No one can understand the truth until he drinks of coffee's frothy goodness. ~Sheik Abd-al-Kadir

Over second and third cups flow matters of high finance, high state, common gossip and low comedy. [Coffee] is a social binder, a warmer of tongues, a soberer of minds, a stimulant of wit, a foiler of sleep if you want it so. From roadside mugs to the classic demi-tasse, it is the perfect democrat. ~Author Unknown

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