HISTORY OF COFFEE
 
Horn of Africa is the hometown of Coffee. Although there are a few mysterious tales about the original coffee, it's generally accepted that Ethiopians were the first to find the energising effect of the native coffee plant. Arabians took coffee as an energy drink and its spread was started with the spread of Islam.

Yemeni traders brought coffee back to their homeland in 15th century or earlier. They commercially cultivated coffee beans and became the first and only country to export coffee beans. The harbour – Mocha was heavily guarded from illegal exporting of coffee seeds and living coffee plants.

Coffee was introduced to the Europeans during 1600s. It was first imported to Italy from the Ottoman Empire. The first European coffee house was opened in 1645 in Venice.

The monopoly of Yemeni coffee was broken by the Dutch in 1616 when the Dutch allied Malabar against the Spanish, and brought live coffee plants back from Malabar. The Dutch then introduced coffee cultivation in Malabar and India. Indonesia was introduced coffee planting in 1699. By early 1700s, the Dutch became the main coffee bean supplier to other European countries. Since then, the Dutch spread coffee cultivation in Central and South America and it remained one of the most profitable agriculture activity in the region.

As of 2009, Brazil is the biggest coffee bean exporter, followed by Vietnam, Indonesia and Columbia. There are two main types of coffee beans, namely Arabica and Robusta. Arabica is cultivated in Latin America, eastern Africa, Arabia, and certain parts of Asia. On the other hand, Robusta is planted in western and central Africa, Southeast Asia, and very limited places in Brazil.

Coffee is called Kopi in Malaysia. It was said to be introduced by an English military officer during the period of British colonisation. Kopi culture in Malaysia was said to be started with Kopitiam (which means coffee shop in Hokkien dialect). The Kopitiams were generally run by the Malaysians of Hainanese and Hokkien descendants in the early days. Malaysian Kopi is special in a way that it's roasted with butter and sugar, while coffee in the rest of the world is only roasted with sugar. It's made by pouring boiling water through a cloth filter rather than brewing, which is worldwide practice of making coffee. Also, Kopi, in general refers to coffee with condensed milk in Malaysia. Black coffee with sugar is called Kopi-O (which means black coffee in Hokkien dialect), and extra strong and dense coffee is called Kopi-Kau (Kau means strong and dense in Hokkien dialect), and extra strong and dense black coffee, Kopi-O-Kau.

Kopi soon entered the everyday life of Malaysians and became a part of social circle. It's was a harmonic scene where all races gathered in a kopitiam talking to each other and enjoying the same Kopi. The Kopi culture started to mushroom and made its appearance in city cafes. It too became the in-thing of the younger generations.