Coffee and Travel – how do they REALLY relate.
Well, honestly, in a lot of ways.
Yemens Sulfi Monasteries had the first known coffee tree and evidence of use – in the 15th century.
Yemen then passed the word on to the Turks in 1555 during the reign of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent through Özdemir Pasha, the Ottoman Governor of Yemen.
I found two main stories about how coffee was introduced to Europe. Some claim that it was through Malta and the Turkish Muslim slaves that were brought there by the Knights of St. John in 1565. Others claim it was the Venetian merchants brought coffee back with them from…Istanbul. Then in 1645, the first coffeehouse opened in Italy.
The history of coffee is incredible, but there isn’t time here to do it a lot of justice – so if you want to know more check out any of these books.
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For five hundred years the world has been in love with coffee. It’s seen as a magic beverage that wakes you up, keeps you going, and holds your hand through the meeting with that one person from the marketing department that just gets on your nerves. In Turkey – it even tells your future.
But for me – it’s even more than that. I feel that coffee and travel are inextricably linked.
Getting There – because that’s the first step
Get up when it’s still dark, last minute panic, taxi or public transport, rush through, stand in line, go through the scanner, beep, go back through the scanner, beep again, get patted down, rush through that line and – sit and wait for a few hours. Then there it is – warm, snacks, seats, power points, and coffee.
When you arrive at the airport waiting for your flight: you can finally relax – the trip has started, you are travelling, and you have your coffee.
Being There – enjoying the place you have travelled to
Coffee if the first thing I do when I get to a new place. After I get to the place I’m staying, after settling in (or collapsing of I arrive late at night) but before seeing any sites. I’ll tell you why you should do this too
Ask at reception, ‘where can I find some good coffee?’
Follow this advice, don’t just head to the nearest Starbucks or mega chain coffee house.
When you arrive and order, sit down outside if the weather is nice. Don’t go on their wifi. Don’t play a puzzle game. Don’t even read a book (basically the only time you’ll hear me say that).
Sit and watch. Watch how people bustle around their town. In Amman, at the Temple of Hercules, I watched an ancient man play chess with a site guard who had the most magnificent moustache I had ever seen. They chatted away in Arabic and when the old man won, the younger man disapeared only to return with two cups of coffee.
Coffee has such a role in cultures all over the world, it is absolutely fascinating to sit and immerse yourself. Plus it helps you learn the area, and hey – coffee!
The Things We Take Home
Souvenirs are often more than the dinky mug or punny t-shirt.
I have such a love for Fika.
Please take a moment to appreciate this work of art by Go Royal.
So the idea is pretty well explained in that!
No, really, apart from solving all the world problems, Fika is when you sit down for a break with friends – and have coffee with sweet treats.
Not to mention that Sweden likes its coffee STRONG. Which I appreciate in a nation.
NO I DO NOT MEAN THAT BLENDED FROZEN DISGUSTINGNESS
I apologise for my capitalisation, emotional outburst.
I mean the icy, the delicious, the foamy, the hours lasting, Greek Frappe.
It is an institution in Greece – and it has become an institution with my friends I made in Greece. Two Swedes, a Canadian, and an Aussie go to Greece every year and count down the days until frappe.
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