ORIGINS OF COFFEE
Known since Antiquity, coffee is the fruit of a shrub, the coffee tree. Ethiopia is considered to be its cradle. It grows in tropical and subtropical regions, in an area between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. This shrub produces small flowers with a subtle scent of jasmine and fruits called “cherries”. Protected by the pulp and the parchment, they contain two coffee beans. Four thousand beans are needed to produce a pound of roasted coffee. It is therefore a delicate and demanding food in terms of preparation.
The earliest mention of coffee noted by the literary coffee merchant Philippe Sylvestre Dufour is a reference to bunchum in the works of the 10th century CE Persian physician Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi, known as Rhazes in the West, but more definite information on the preparation of a beverage from the roasted coffee berries dates from several centuries later.