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A night dedicated to Coffee

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Bengaluru, Oct 2: Bob Dylan once sang, "One more cup of coffee 'fore I go, To the valley below" and made how obvious coffee has become an integral part of people's lives across almost every continent of the world. The word "coffee" entered the English language in 1582 via the Dutch koffie, borrowed from the Ottoman Turkish kahve, in turn borrowed from the Arabic qahwah. The Arabic word qahwah originally referred to a type of wine.

Representational photo

The history of coffee dates back to the 15th century. The native origin of coffee is thought to have been Ethiopia, with several mythical accounts but no solid evidence. The earliest substantiated evidence of either coffee drinking or knowledge of the coffee tree is from the early 15th century, in the Sufi monasteries of Yemen, spreading soon to Mecca and Cairo. By the 16th century, it had reached the rest of the Middle East, South India (Coorg), Persia, Turkey, Horn of Africa, and northern Africa.

There are many accounts as to how coffee came into use by humans. One of the most popular accounts is that a 9th-century Ethiopian goat-herder, Kaldi, noticed the energizing effects when his flock nibbled on the bright red berries of a certain bush, chewed on the fruit himself. His exhilaration prompted him to bring the berries to a monk in a nearby monastery. But the monk disapproved of their use and threw them into the fire, from which an enticing aroma billowed, causing other monks to come and investigate. The roasted beans were quickly raked from the embers, ground up, and dissolved in hot water, yielding the world's first cup of coffee.

October 1 is celebrated as the 'world coffee day'. This year marked the 4th year celebration of the world coffee day and the Coffee Board of India celebrated the special day in an innovative way by conducting a 'prushnothari', a quiz competition dedicated to coffee alone in Hotel Shangri- La, Bengaluru. It became evident to a layman that when it comes to coffee, there is more than what meets the eye.

Chief Secretary, Karnataka, T M Vijay Bhaskar addressing the gathering. Photo credit Coffee Board twitter handle

With an unique name 'Naya Bharat: Coffee par soch' the Coffee board held a series of programmes in which they announced the partnerships with Ernst and young "The future of coffee- road map", in which they will develop a strategy to improve the overall coffee sector performance across the value chain, from production to consumption .the second partnership announced was with th national institute of public finance and policy "study on impact of coffee subsidies on coffee industry." the Coffee Board also made the announcement of "AIC- Ccri- Foundation for entrepreneurship development."

Dr Anup Wadhawan, commerce Secretary, Government of India and T M Vijay Bhaskar, Chief Secretary, Government of Karnataka were the chief guests while R Ramanan, Mission director, Atal Innovation Mission was the Guest of honour. Srivatsa Krishna, IAS, CEO and Secretary, Coffee Board, Dr Rathin Roy, Director, National institute of public finance and policy, Amit Vatsyayan, partner, ernst and Young were also prersent on the occasion.

The highlight of the night however was the 'Coffee par Soch: Prashnothari' the coffee quiz. The quiz was dedicated only to coffee and coffee lovers. The quiz was monitored by Vikram Achanta. The fierce battle was fought between 8 teams, Coffee House ER Adda, PADIF , Media & Bloggers, Coffee Growers -Nilgiri Team, Chord Road Cabal, Frappelicious, Government of Karnataka, Coca Cola Georgia, who were selected after the preliminary round that consisted 18 teams. Special questions to the audiences just made the competition more 'brewy'.

Some of the excerpts from the quiz are as follows.

"What alcoholic beverage derives its name from a Konkani word for froth?"

"Which country is home to the Kafa region. From where coffee takes its name?'

"Which popular brand takes its name from the first of the Pequod, the ship in the famous book by Moby Dick?"

"In Ethiopia,the home of coffee,coffee is called Buna and made on the roadside in Pots called Jebenas. What is the substitution of sugar in coffee?"

Quiz in process. Photo credit Coffee Board twitter handle

Just when I began to think I was such a coffee enthusiast, the coffee quiz proved me wrong. Did i little know there are 12 different types of coffee drinks, each having an unique story and a place of origin.

At the end of the night, Coffee of India - Coffee House Er Adda were declared as the grand winner of the quiz. The winners received a prize money of Rs 1 Lakh. The 1st runners up were the Frappelicious team and the 2nd runner up was the team of Government of Karnataka.

Winners of Quiz. Photo credit Coffee Board twitter handle

On the whole it was a night dedicated to coffee. Many things were learnt, many ideas were shared and more importantly many cups of coffee were downed.

Can a Cup of Coffee have Health Benefits?

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