A beverage as black as ink, useful against numerous illnesses, particularly those of the stomach. It’s consumers take it in the morning, quite frankly, in a porcelain cup that is passed around and from which each one drinks a cupful. It is composed of water and the fruit from a bush called bunnu.
So wrote Leonhard Rauwolf, a physician, who in 1583 came back from a trip to the Far East with news of this new (to Europeans) hot beverage they were drinking in the Levant (now Jordan, Syria & Northern Iraq). The bunnu bush is now mostly grown in Ethiopia, where they do know a thing or two about coffee.
It’s said that shepherds from the area noticed that their goats traveled further when they ate the beans of the coffee bush. It wasn’t long before they were trying it themselves, calling it qahhwat al-bun, “The Wine Of The Bean.”
It’s everywhere, now. Or at least it feels like it here in New York City, where we drink about seven times the national average of the stuff. After oil, it’s the second-most traded commodity on Earth. It may be mostly grown in Colombia and Brazil now, but it’s prepared in pretty much every corner of the planet now, in a million different ways. And hell yeah for that.
Look, we know these manufactured holidays are all about commerce, but when they celebrate something so close to home, then I feel a little better pretending they’re legit. Not that I’m hooked. I can quit at any time. Hey, Teddy Roosevelt drank a gallon a day and he turned out alright. In fact, there’s no right (or wrong) way to drink the stuff. It’s nature’s perfect drink. It fends off the effects of Alzheimer’s, it keeps you awake and focused, and its very existence makes your life better, especially if you know me and I have some.