"Café Hane", the predecessor of the coffee house, spread throughout the Islamic world

A 19th century print depicting Istanbul's luxurious Café Hané ("Intérieur d'un café public, sur la place de Top-hané", The New York Public Library)

Coffee shops became very popular in Europe in the mid-17th century in England. It was called a ``coffee house'' and played a major social role in London as a place for men to socialize.

On the other hand, the world's first specialty coffee shop is said to have opened in Mecca around 1500.

Called ``kaffehane'' (synonymous with coffee house), the custom of being open to men only and prohibiting alcohol was carried over to coffeehouses in England.

Coffee and kaffehane spread throughout Yemen and the Islamic world during the 15th and 16th centuries.

Kawwa, a coffee that spread from Yemen

In the 15th century, a drink called qafwa became popular in Yemen.
There were also beverages made with ingredients other than coffee berries, but there were beverages made by drying coffee berries and boiling the outer pulp and shell of coffee beans (seeds) (xil), and beverages containing coffee beans. It is said that it has come to be broadly divided into ``bun'', which is made by roasting the fruit and then boiling it.

Kahwa quickly became popular when Sufis, the mystics of Islam, used it during their religious training as a drink that had a drowsy and stimulant effect. It is said that in the early 16th century, Sufis could be seen drinking qafwa while praying in Mecca, Medina, and Cairo.

Kahwa soon became known to the common people, and was drunk as a drink to wake up sleepiness or as a luxury item.It quickly became popular as a stimulating drink in the Islamic world, where drinking is prohibited. Etiquette for brewing and drinking kahwa was developed, and it is said that wealthy mansions had their own coffee rooms.

As mentioned above, around 1500, a coffee house called "Cafe Hane" was born in Mecca. In 1510, it spread to Cairo, the capital of the Mamluk dynasty, which was one of the centers of the Islamic world, and many kafehane appeared. It became a place for common people to socialize.

Coffee was introduced to the Ottoman Empire.

Café Hane in Cairo, 18th century
Coffee was introduced to the Islamic superpower, the Ottoman Empire, in the 16th century. It is said that it was brought back by Selim I, the emperor who destroyed the Mamluk dynasty.

In 1554, two Syrians opened Café Hane in Istanbul, the capital of the Ottoman Empire, and Café Hane spread to the city of Istanbul as well.

Coffee culture flourished in Istanbul, and hand-cranked roasters and coffee mills are said to have been invented during this period.

Furthermore, around this time, the Ottoman Empire, which also had control over Yemen, encouraged the cultivation of coffee, and the coffee fruit harvested in Yemen was widely transported to Istanbul, Cairo, and other parts of the Ottoman Empire and the Islamic world. , coffee became popular.

Coffee permeates despite receiving backlash

On the other hand, the rapid spread of kahwa also caused a backlash. In the first place, qahwa was a custom spread by Sufis, and it is said that orthodox Islamic scholars were not happy with them.

It is said that Sufi rituals included singing, dancing, and sometimes drug use, which could border on heresy. Some orthodox scholars also considered drinking kahwah made from roasted coffee to be a deviation from the Qur'an and Sunnah, since the Qur'an forbids eating charcoal.

The existence of kafuhane was thought to be the problem, not the drinking of kafwa itself. In fact, some cafes serve alcoholic beverages, play music, and engage in activities prohibited in Islam, such as gambling, and have been considered to be disturbing to public morals.

In addition, because various citizens gathered at Cafe Hane and a variety of topics were discussed, from gossip to political grievances, some politicians believed that it could become a breeding ground for unsettling elements.

For this reason, politicians have often issued bans on drinking and drinking coffee, but these have all faded in a short period of time.

The most severe ban on coffee was the ban on coffee, which was issued in Istanbul in the mid-17th century, and one theory says that 30,000 people were executed, but this was rather used as a power struggle to eliminate political opponents. appears to have been carried out under the cover of this ban.

Despite this opposition, coffee took root in the Islamic world, and eventually coffee and cafe hane (coffee houses) spread to Europe.