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I've tasted these coffee cakes and they're every bit as good as they look - sweet and scrumptious. Too good - one slice leads to another!

Gillian Anderson

History of Sweet Coffee
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The History of Sweet Coffee

From its discovery in Ethiopia, coffee was introduced to Yemen through trade with Arabs across the Red Sea. The Arabs enjoyed their coffee and found that the coffee bushes would grow well in the nearby mountains. The Yemeni port of Mocha lent its name to the coffee that passed through it. Arabic coffee is not complete without the addition of Cardamom and sugar - for it was the Arabs who introduced sugar to the world, the bitterness of coffee was a perfect match for the sweetness of sugar. Sugar was added to match the occasion - sweetened only slightly for after-dinner coffee, more sugar for a wedding or other happy occasion, and no sugar at all for a death or other sorrowful occasion.

Coffee was instantly popular in Arabian countries, especially Mecca Ė the center of Islamic religious teaching, in modern day Saudi Arabia, because it allowed worshipers to stay awake for all-night prayers. The coffee houses where it was drunk - forerunners to the European coffee houses as meeting places for intellectuals and story telling and gossip, kept people away from the mosques, and it was suspected, up to no good. In 1511, because he enjoyed coffee, the Sultan of Cairo reprimanded the governor of Mecca for banning coffee and coffee houses - in the holiest city of Islam - and people were free to enjoy their coffee.

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