There are three kinds of people in this world:
First category comprises of one cup of coffee/tea a day persons, who enjoy their morning or evening tea/coffee, in the true spirit of a Lipton/Nescafe advertisement.
Second category are the energizer bunnies who survive on tea and coffee (black please) to get through the day. They also happen to be sad and forlorn de-energized bunnies during the holy month of Ramazan!
Third category are the ones who I believe have achieved Nirvana in life since they rely on the sheer zest for life to get them going! Obviously they are only a handful, or so I would like to believe.
Every Ramazan, when I face the dreaded decaffeinated situation, it makes me wonder how did we reach this stage of relying so heavily on tea/coffee that gets us through a hard day at work. For those of us who are so hooked onto the caffeinated drinks only know the crazy sense of zombie-ism during the first couple of Rozas (fasting), our system demanding the daily doses and in the tradition of maintaining our patience, we try and fight the yawns, but one thing is for sure: no work gets done on the first roza!!
In the loving memory of my cuppa coffee and in my dreaded decaffeinated condition, I searched for some fast facts on the origin of coffee itself, ah The Blessed Bean indeed, and found some interesting observations:
The word “coffee” entered English in 1598 via Italian caffè. This word was created via Turkish kahve, which in turn came into being via Arabic qahwa, a truncation of qahhwat al-bun or wine of the bean. One possible origin of the name is the Kingdom of Kaffa in Ethiopia, where the coffee plant originated (its name there is bunn or bunna).
There are several legendary accounts of the origin of the drink itself. One account involves the Yemenite Sufi mystic Shaikh ash-Shadhili. When traveling in Ethiopia, the legend goes, he observed goats of unusual vitality, and, upon trying the berries that the goats had been eating, experienced the same vitality. A similar myth attributes the discovery of coffee to an Ethiopian goat herder named Kaldi and the Legend of Dancing Goats.
Did you know that the consumption of coffee itself was quite a controversial subject back in the days? In 1511, it was forbidden for its stimulating effect by conservative, orthodox imams at a theological court in Mecca. However, the popularity of the drink led these bans to be overturned in 1524 by an order of the Ottoman Turkish Sultan Selim I, with Grand Mufti Mehmet Ebussuud el-İmadi issuing a celebrated fatwa allowing the consumption of coffee.1 In Cairo, Egypt, a similar ban was instituted in 1532, and the coffeehouses and warehouses containing coffee beans were sacked.2
Anyways, the blessed bean has made its way in the hearts and souls of many in this part of Asia. While coffee has not exactly replaced the traditional cup of ‘chai’ (tea) in a typical Pakistani household, we do have our very own ‘phitti howee coffee’ (handmade cappuccino for the lack of a better translation) with lots of sugar and milk and cream. Ashraf chacha in my office makes the most amazing phitti howee coffee we all love!!! Coffee is fast making its way through the corporate world not forgetting the starbucks-GloriaJeans-struck younger generation. Who knows, one day I shall open up my own starbucks franchise with a Barnes & Nobel outlet…wonders never cease to happen…(and that would be the day when horses would start flying and mermaids would appear on the Karachi beach…reality check: franchise cost…eeeks)
This post is in the loving memory of my cup of Black Coffee that I miss dearly at work during Ramazan! Evidently, I subscribe to the second category. I would be happy if you leave a remark sharing which category you subscribe to, would be interesting to have our own ‘mini poll’.