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Where did the Word ‘Coffee’ Come From?

We all enjoy the rich aroma of our daily cup of coffee, but just where did the word originate?

PRLog - Aug. 30, 2012 - FAKENHAM, U.K. -- The Oxford dictionary definition of coffee states it is pronounced kofi and says the following: -

·   a hot drink made from the roasted and ground bean-like seeds of a tropical shrub: a  cup of coffee
·   a cup of coffee: we went out for a coffee
·   coffee seeds roasted and ground, or a powder made from them: a jar of instant coffee
·   a pale brown colour like that of milky coffee: coffee-coloured skin
·   the shrub which yields coffee seeds, native to the Old World tropics - Genus Coffea, family Rubiaceae: several species.

So that’s the meaning of the word but where did it originate from, well there is no easy answer to that as there are many different words from different countries.

Let’s start with Kaffa which is a province in the southwestern side of Ethiopia, the capital city was called Jimma.  Kaffa is thought to be original home of coffee and has many varieties growing wild in the mountain rain forests.  Nearly all plants of the species Coffea arabica are thought to be descendants of plants from Kaffa.

Its not surprising therefore that coffee has been the main income to the area, and there is now a large rain forest conservation project which is caring for the last wild stocks.  

Another word is Kabba, legend says that in Ethiopia, a young Arab shepherd found that his goats acted strangely after eating red fruit of a bush.   He took the leaves and fruits from the tree to some monks who cooked the beans, although the beverage tasted foul so they threw the remains in the fire.  It is said that they liked the aroma given from the beans so they made a new beverage with the roasted beans.  They gave the name kaaba to the drink which means a coffee coloured precious stone in Arabic.  It is also a holy building in Mecca.

Kavus Kai is another idea, he was a mythical Persian king who was able to defy gravity and levitate on his flying throne by drinking coffee (http://www.espressocoffeeclub.co.uk/capsules/).

Kahwe is the Turkish word for roasted, while Cahouah is an Arab word which means to have a dislike to eat.  In the Arabic language, Cahouah was known to be a hunger curing drink.  The Arabs also used cohuet, which means strength or vigor in Arabic for coffee (http://www.espressocoffeeclub.co.uk/espresso/).

One thing we can be assured of is that wherever the word coffee (http://www.espressocoffeeclub.co.uk/sourcing/) originated from the world would not be the same place today without it.

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