Page 3, 29th October 1943

29th October 1943
Page 3
Page 3, 29th October 1943 — Earth and Ourselves Coffee

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People: Stefan Zweig


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Earth and Ourselves Coffee

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the bstitutes that parade the tear-world of today surely the most difficult to swallow (literally as well as Metaphorically) are the curious concoctions that usurp the name of Coffee. It ia true that in England (where roost households hate long since given up the satisfying labour of roasting their °Wm) coffee rarely achieves its MU richness. We have been content to buy it ready-ground front seeds (not beans, as is popularly supposed) that have been insufficiently roasted lest they shrink and so, by loss of weight, bring in a poorer commercial return.

In Norway, where before the War excellent coffee was made, the peasant women roasted the seeds itt a catered pan with a small quantity of butler. shaking them to and fro over a hot fire until they were a clerk brawn. These were then freshly ground Jar each brew of coffee and the resulting drink was tire best of its kind to be found in Europe.

THE original coffee trees were I natives of Abyssinia and

.4rabia. In its original stale, when it seas allowed to grow to a height of some twenty feet, it o picittresqae tree with shining evergreen leaves and small,

white, sweet-smelling flowers which gave place to the dark red fruit of which the little' horny seed is the product that has be come so highly prized. The

use of these seeds as a beverage was discovered by Arabian shep

herds who noticed the liveliness of their goats after they had been nibbling at the lower branches of the trees. The shepherds tried

the effect of the berries on themselves and finding it tonic and

exhilarating they began to culti vate the trees for their awn use. dwarfing them to about half their original height in order to force a greater yield of the fruit. It was they who introduced the poteat beverage to the Turks through whose agency it reached Austria, where it soon became a fashionable driak.

And so its commercial value grew until, in Brazil, as the late Stefan Zweig tells us in his book on that country: " The mast magnificent warehouses are erected for ads black potentate; he commands the ships of the world. dictates the value of money, drives the country into wild specu lations and perilous crises, evert drowning his own children in the

sea simply because the world is not wining to pay him his full tribute."

In one part of the world seeds ant burnt or thrown into the sea while in, others we invent substitutes d/for them I Truly we Juana beings deserve the unpalatable beterages that are tiowadays served up to us under the . name of Coffee


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