Posted in Kafevend Blog

Coffee history quiz answers

1.What animal did Kaldi herd?

Goats: As the myth goes, coffee was discovered by an Ethiopian goatherd named Kaldi. Kaldi discovered the energizing nature of caffeine after watching some of his goats eat the coffee cherries before leaping energetically about. He brought some of the cherries to a monk, but the monk was unimpressed and threw them into a fire. Subsequently the beans inside roasted and let off their characteristic aroma, which prompted the monk to change his mind- he scooped them out, ground them up and put them in water, and hey presto- coffee! Of course, this is a fanciful tale. The myth has been traced to an Italian professor who invented it in 1671. It still makes for an interesting myth though, and who knows what kernels of truth lay within?

2.Where did Pieter van der Broecke steal coffee from in the 17th century?

Yemen: Pieter was a Dutch merchant sailing abroad in the early 17th century. It was in 1616 when he was reputedly successful in secreting coffee plants away from under the noses of the Yemeni in the port of Mocha, who jealously guarded the crop and its money making potential. He brought the plants to the botanical gardens in Amsterdam where they thrived. Decades later, they served as the basis for plantations in Dutch dominions overseas.

3.Which city discovered coffee after it was laid siege to by the Ottoman empire?

Vienna: In a bitter tension between East and West that echoed the Greco-Persian wars fought thousands of years before, the 150 year period between the Siege of Vienna and the Battle of Vienna(separate fights, not one long one!) saw various countries and empires of Eastern Europe take on the might of the Turkish Ottoman Empire. In the Battle of Vienna in 1683, following the Ottoman's defeat, a tale tells that so quick was their retreat that they forgot to take their coffee with them and that with the sacks left behind, one enterprising Austrian opened the city's first coffee shop. Like the legend of Kaldi however, it seems this was a tall tale, perhaps devised to mock the Ottomans, as it first appears in texts in 1783.

4.Which country created the espresso?

Italy: The precursor to the espresso machine was first patented in 1884 by the Italian Angelo Moriondo from Turin. It was geared towards creating coffee in bulk by using steam pressure to make the drinks. The machine was further developed and turned towards creating single drinks on demand in later years by men like Luigi Bezzera and Desiderio Pavoni. The espresso became a cornerstone of Italian coffee culture and remains so to this day. It also forms a big part of coffee culture in many other countries such as here in the UK, where it was popularised by chains such as Starbucks and Costa.

5.When was instant coffee invented?

1890: Instant coffee was invented and patented by a New Zealander called David Strang in 1890. Other varieties were soon cropping up, such as in 1910 by George Washington (no relation) and again by Nestlé in 1938 when they released their Nescafé brand of instant coffee. Instant coffee as we know it today- high-vacuum, freeze-dried- has its origins in wartime developments to do with medicine rather than foodstuffs. After World War II, the National Research Corporation in the USA was looking for something else to do with its fancy equipment and turned to soluble drinks. The process developed by the NRC is still used today for producing instant coffee.

6.Where was the French Press invented?

Italy: This was a bit of a trick question- whilst it's possible the precursor to the French Press was indeed created in France, the first patented device was actually created by the Italian Attilio Calimani in 1929. The device's other name, the Italian "cafetière", is perhaps a better fit for it!

7.Which country brought the world 3D latte art?

Japan: Not content with paltry two dimensional extravaganzas gracing the top of a latte, Japanese baristas took it one step further and started creating 3D sculptures a few years ago. It requires a good deal of skill and a quick hand too, before the delicate microfoam starts to fall apart and ruin the effect.

8.Which unlikely venue received its first ever espresso machine last year?

The International Space Station: The Italians get a look in on this quiz yet again! Lavazza and Argotec, an engineering firm, teamed up to create an espresso machine for the ISS. When it was delivered in April last year, the astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti- an Italian- was the first to use it. Thankfully, other nationalities will be able to use it to cater towards their own favourites, as it can also be used to make tea amongst other hot drinks.

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