Cuthberts Coffee and Bistro  •  94a Fountainbridge  •  Edinburgh  •  EH3 9QA  •  Open 7 Days  •  Tel: 0131 228 1070
Quite Interesting
  • The word 'coffee' comes from the Latin name of the genus Coffea. The genus is a member of the Rubiaceae family, which includes over 500 genera and 6000 species of plants, most of which are tropical trees and shrubs.

  • The coffee plant originated in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa and even today it still grows wild in these regions.

  • It was the country of Yemen (next to Saudi Arabia) that is credited to be the first country to begin to cultivate coffee for drinking purposes. Certainly by the 15th Century, the cultivation of coffee in Yemen was highly developed. The country was one of the busiest places in the world, with its main port, Mocha being its main centre.

  • The earliest coffee drinkers are thought to have lived in Ethiopia, with references to a beverage known as 'buncham' found in Arabic scientific documents dating from AD 900-1000.

  • The first coffee houses were established in Mecca, known as Kaveh Kanes. They were originally religious in purpose, although they quickly developed into centres for socialising: playing chess, gossiping, singing, dancing and playing music.

COFFEE HOUSES

Coffee has been enjoyed in Britain since the mid-Seventeenth Century when coffee houses emerged as centres for political discussion and commerce.
 
One of the first coffee houses in England was opened in Oxford by Jacob,a Turkish Jew in 1650. His coffee was described as a "simple, innocent thing, incomparable for those that are troubled by melancholy".
 
In Edinburgh, the lure of the coffee house attracted the majority of businessmen to the City's High Street. It was where merchants traded, financiers and politicians discussed the issues of the day and contracts were signed and exchanged. It became popular with scholars as it sharpened the mind rather than dulling it like alcohol.
 
It could be said that if you wanted to know what was brewing, the coffee house was the place to go.
 
Lloyd's of London and the Stock Exchange started life as coffee houses. But coffee had its detractors. The brewing of ale had long been the preserve of women, known as "brewsters" or "alewives". In 1674 a group of them, alarmed at falling trades in taverns, drew up the Women's Petition Against Coffee, claiming: "Coffee makes a man barren as the desert out of which its unlucky berry has been imported".

COMMODITY

For centuries, Arabia controlled the coffee industry until (as legend has it) a pilgrim from Meca smuggled beans back to India and began an agricultaural revolution. The Dutch also managed to get a plant back to Amsterdam and to their colonies in Indonesia, so Europe soon had new cheaper sources for their beans.
 
Coffee is now grown in more than 70 counries and is the second most traded commodity in the world after oil.

CIVET DUNG

It is alleged that the most  expensive coffee in the world comes from the droppings of the Asian palm civet ,a small catlike animal that loves to eat coffee cherries. The cherries only partially digest and the seeds are excreted intact. The droppings are washed and the beans, sold as Kopi Luwak, can cost hundreds of dollars per pound. The partial digestion process is supposed to add a wonderful musky flavour.
 
However, our Artisan Roast friends tell us that the civet is often force-fed the beans which are not very good after all. So, no, we will not be using Kopi Luwak, after all!
 
St Helena Peaberry is an excellent coffee that is expensive due to the high cost of production and excellent cup. One day, we'll buy a small amount of St Helena for you, a really "rich" cup of coffee that will be, too!

IS IT GOOD FOR YOU?

We'll leave you to decide this one! Of course, we believe that  this affordable luxury is a pleasure to drink in itself and part of the daily ritual of millions of people who love to start their day with it and drink it throughout it.
 
Check out this interesting article: http://men.webmd.com/features/coffee-new-health-food
 
Hmmm, I'll have another flat white, then!

STRONGER THAN TEA?

A cup of filter coffee contains about three times as much caffeine as a cup of tea, although dry tea leaves do contain a higher proportion of caffeine by weight than coffee beans.
 
The caffeine extracted from beans or leaves depends by the water temperature: the higher this happens to be, the greater the caffeine extracted is.
 
An average 30ml espresso contains about the same amount of caffeine as a 150ml cup of PG Tips. So, a single shot cappuccino or latte won't give you much more than a caffeine hit than a cuppa. A cup of instant coffee, on the other hand, contains only around half the caffeine of a filter coffee.
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