4 Jun /14


Coffee was first mentioned in England around 1600. It appeared in a translated travel book describing a trip to the East and West Indies. At the same time, there is a report on the colourful English adventurer Anthony Sherley who among other things travelled to Persia to promote trade. This visit is recorded by William Parry who describes how Turkish men spend their day. They sit cross-legged, partying all day until they have had enough, while at the same time “drinking a certain liquor called coffee which is made of seed like a mustard seed, which will soon intoxicate the brain”.

And at least someone in New England knew about coffee at a very early stage. Captain John Smith who founded Virginia wrote in his book Travels and Adventure about the Turks whose “best drink is coffee” made of coffee beans. And our friend Samuel Purchas in his travelogue took up the comments of William Finch who recorded that the best entertainment for Arabs in Socotra (an island in the Indian Ocean, which today is part of Yemen) “is a china dish of Coho, a black bitter drink made of a berry like a bayberry, brought from Mecca, supped off hot, good for the head and stomach”.

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