Sunday, 22 July 2012

Coffee: Beans of Change

Discovery of coffee
Birds and goats eat coffee beans for energy. With coffee, birds could fly far. With coffee, goats could wander far. An Ethiopian goat herder, Khalid, tried them too and discovered its benefits - energy, vitality. He was jumping for joy. He took the coffee berries to a clergy who boiled them and obtained an ugly liquid, so he threw it away in the fire. The ambers burned the liquid and the beans started roasting among the ambers. It gave a coffee aroma that attracted the clergies, so they put out the fire and saved the roasted coffee beans.

The Arabs came to learn of coffee and called it kahwa (liquid of wine), for the liquid that steeped the roasted beans looked very much like wine. It was also called kahwa al-bunn (wine of Bunn) since it was discovered in the town of Bunn, in the Kingdom of Kaffa.

In Yemen, coffee plants thrived and a different type of coffee was born - mocha, after the town of Mocha. Mocha reached California in the early 1980s. I remember making mocha ice-cream for my graduate class and we ate that under a big palm by the road that led to my hostel. It was a very hot summer but still, it didn't matter to the graduates, as if they never had receptors under their skin. My ice-cream almost melted.

From Yemen, coffee went all over the Arabian peninsula and coffee Arabica was born. This is a fragrant coffee. I have the beans somewhere among the piles of books. It is part of my collectors' items.

How we got expresso today is my wonder. I guess if you put coffee granules in the coffee machine, you get good black coffee, expressed, thus, expresso. I remember my lady professors drank that and also smoked cigarettes, to remain slim so they could fit size S dresses. That was the fad in the late 1970s, a time when the effects of Woodstock were wearing off and something new had to be found - coffee and smoking. Coffee did not affect the male professors as they had the alcoholic beverages every Monday morning. Coffee and cigs were the subject of choices for the ladies who didn't want to seen drunk on Mondays but needed something to fill their tummies. Most ladies left brownies, peanut-butter sandwiches, etc and just stuck to black coffee and cigs. Poor thing.


Coffee reached Java and the foxes also liked them and ate the berries, and excreted whole coffee berries which are taken and roasted and made into the world's best Java coffee. I have a musang that visits my house and stays in the roof. When it excretes, it excretes nothing more than coffee beans in the drain which drains my laundry - so the drains are clean at that part of the house. I took a close look, and yes it is the classic biji kopi tahi musang, which is reddish as the pulp is partially digested by the gastric juices after a single pass through the musang's GI tract. Lovely, eh?! Want some? Dare take fox excreta and roast it to get a special coffee blend? The enzymes in the fox gut added to the flavour. I'm still wondering where the musang ate the coffee beans. There are lots of trees in my area but I have yet to locate a coffee climber.

Acai berry coffee mix. This tastes like chocolate drink 

We humans are very funny indeed. We loved that brand of the world's most exotic and expensive coffee - kopi tahi musang.

Health uses of coffee
  1. Stimulant - keeps your brain awake; even sleepy brains will wake up
  2. Keeps you awake when you should be in bed at 3 a.m.
  3. Alleviates migraine - this means if you are a migraine-prone person, you can try and take sweet black coffee, sit back and feel the difference; it works wonders especially if you want to kill your pill-popping habit
  4. If you are the lazy type to brush your teeth early in the morning, or can't find where you left your toothbrush last night, then try and take coffee as it will washout all the stale saliva from last night (air liur basi)
  5. Relieves all pain especially if you are 50+ and always complain of sakit badan
  6. Keeps you youthful
  7. Keeps you well hydrated if you drink dilute coffee; thick or strong coffee will make you go to the loo every 5 minutes. If you fall into the habit of going to the loo every 5 minutes after coffee consumption, then dilute your coffee down to a level where you don't need to go to toilet too frequently. Then that becomes your coffee mix and will only suit you. Other people may not like your dilute coffee but stick to it because that is what your system can tolerate. If you keep drinking strong coffee and urinate too frequently, then you are draining your body of necessary vitamins and minerals, which can spell disaster in the long run - that is when coffee drinkers or coffee addicts fall into osteoporosis, etc from protracted acidic environment (acidosis) from the coffee, then you can add all the acidic foods you eat (all the beef, chicken, etc) and the biggest difference you will notice is a marked drop in stature - you become shorter too fast, from advanced osteoporosis - your bones dissolve too fast under prevailing acidic environment, akin to anorexia. So don't drink strong coffee, light coffee is healthier in the long run.
  8. Light coffee is the best before jumping into bed because a full tumbler will keep headaches away the following day. This is if you are the type like me, who keeps at the keyboard till 3 a.m. then have a brief bedtime, and 3 hours later you have to jump out of bed and go to work. So for this chronic problem with very little sleep, light coffee before bedtime is a wonderful relief. It feels really good to have very little sleep time.
  9. If you don't like stroke, then drink light coffee. Staying awake in the afternoon is better than siesta. The chances for getting stroke is higher after an afternoon nap, and worst if sour fruits are taken by the kilos just before sleep - I don't know why. Not studied that bit yet. The most dangerous time to sleep is after Asar as that is when people suffer from brain damage and memory loss - I still have not studied this problem in detail.
  10. Mood swing suppressor. It suppresses feelings of unhappiness, drudgery, practically all negative moods. That's how I feel about coffee, of course, light coffee. I don't know about strong coffee because I don't take strong coffee.

Added red yeast, for a statin effect on blood cholesterol. But there may just be a spec of red yeast and hardly any effect on blood cholesterol. Omega from habbatus sauda (blackseed).
Omega from the black seeds of the blackseed plant
Thick white coffee
Chilled vanilla flavoured coffee
Omega coffee with Pal Sweet artificial sweetener
Omega coffee with Equal artificial sweetener
High calcium white coffee
Omega coffee for breakfast and kuah sardin
Coffee with dried fruits as snacks
Coffee for two

Dato Mushir Ariff & Dato Zubaidah Tan Sri Che Din Hashim

Tan Sri Che Din's daughter, Zubaidah married to Sir K. M. Ariff's son Mushir Ariff. Dato Mushir Ariff had passed away. Dato Zubaidah's son is Nazir Ariff, a Penang property developer. Zubaidah and Tulip (Dr Che Lah's eldest daughter) were childhood/teenage friends.

From Who's Who in Malaysia 1963
From Who's Who in Malaysia 1963
Portraits from a photo by Datuk Zubaidah Ariff

External link:

Tan Sri Che Din Mohamed Hashim

There are many similar names in Malay history and this creates a lot of confusion when trying to make out who's who. Here is one important name which can be easily confused with Captain Noor Mohamed Hashim. Which is the first name? What is the father's name or surname?

Tan Sri Che Din Mohamed Hashim had advised Kamil Mohamed Ariff on taking up medicine. Kamil followed his advice and became Dr Kamil Mohamed Ariff. He was knighted and became known as Sir Kamil Mohamed Ariff or Sir K. M. Ariff for short.

Tan Sri Che Din's daughter, Zubaidah married to Sir K. M. Ariff's son Mushir Ariff. Dato Mushir Ariff had passed away. Dato Zubaidah's son is Nazir Ariff, a Penang property developer.

Hashim CheDin Mohamad, J.M.N., J.P.
Born: 10 June 1896, Penang
Educ: Free Sch
Career: Chairman and Managing Director, A. Dennys & Co Ltd, Penang
Chairman, William Mining Ltd
Director, Sg Tukang Rubber Estate Ltd
Pub act: Pres. Malay Chamber of Commerce, Pg
Member of Light Dues Board, Fed of Malaya and Marine Tender Board
Chair. Muslim Welfare Assn. Trustee, Fed. Sch. for Deaf and Muslim Orphanage, Penang
Chair. Penang UMNO Division
Patron, Penang Malay Assn and Penang Malay Football Assn
Hon. Member, Penang Chinese Swimming Club
Source: Who's Who in Malaysia 1963

Tan Sri Che Din Mohamed Hashim, Chairman and Managing Director, A. Dennys & Co Ltd, Penang.
Allen Dennys & Co Sdn Bhd is in Beach St (Lebuh Pantai), near Bank Negara Malaysia in Padang Kota. Allen Dennys was established in 1908 and taken over by CM Hashim. Photo from Malik Al Habshi in Facebook.

External links:
Malik Al Habshi's Facebook