Culture, Mediterranean diet



When it comes to coffee, you can be sure that there is a bean to suit every taste. Anyone who has drunk different varieties would agree without argument. Whether France, Spain, Italy, Greece, or Turkey – every country has its own bean culture that it is proud of. Not only does the roasting play an important role, but also the correct preparation and the drinking experience itself, because drinking coffee in the

Mediterranean is not only an absolutely tasty experience but also plays an important role in social life. It is a tradition loved and shared by family, neighbors, and friends at the same time. In general, however, it can be said that coffee is prepared in small cups and is therefore better drunk more often.


The origins of coffee are not entirely clear, as they are claimed equally by the Arabian Peninsula and Ethiopia. According to an African legend, the cradle of coffee lies in Kaffa, in what is now Ethiopia, in the southwest of the highlands of Abyssinia. The discovery of the stimulating effects of coffee cherries is said to be thanks to a herd of goats.

Sometime in the 9th century, a shepherd named Kaldi was amazed at the exuberant activity of his goats and attributed this to the small red cherries the goats ate from the wild coffee bushes. Whether he intentionally threw the coffee cherries into the fire or accidentally, noticing the wonderful smell that arose, or passed his discovery on to a nearby monastery, are conjectures that are disputed.

In Europe, coffee first appeared in Venice. This is thanks to the doctor and botanist Prospero Alpini from Padua, who first learned about the coffee plant and how to roast the beans to prepare the aromatic drink during his stay in Egypt. The first viable coffee beans were smuggled into Europe and the first shipment of coffee from Yemen arrived in Venice around 1570.

From here, coffee consumption quickly spread throughout Italy and Europe, with the delicious hot drink initially being reserved for nobles and aristocrats because it was sold in pharmacies at very high prices.

The first “coffee house” in Europe was opened in 1647, a predecessor of the famous “Café Florian” in Piazza San Marco. The success was so great that 100 years later there were already over 220 coffee houses in Venice, and Italy is now considered the native land of coffee in Europe.

Read the full article in Issue 26

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