Extract form my book
"Congratulations! You are about to be initiated into a long tradition that goes back hundreds of years.
In my research of the subject, I have been unable to uncover any formal records detailing the art of reading coffee-cup grounds. This is not surprising, as it is an oral tradition that has been passed down from one generation to the next by the women who practiced it...
To the Sufis, the transformation of the coffee beans when roasted was a form of alchemy “mirroring the changes they sought to bring to men as they are transformed bringing them closer to God”.
Coffee drinking was coveted for several hundred years thought Arabia and the Islamic world, outside which it was forbidden to export coffee beans, before it became known or used as a beverage in Western Europe and the Americas. During the Islamic expansion, circa 11th–16th century, coffee spread across the Red Sea to Turkey, Spain and North Africa, and the first coffee houses were opened in Damascus in 1530.
Coffee’s medicinal and religious usages became well known from the holy cities of Mecca and Medina to Egypt, Persia and Syria; surviving several debates to ban it over whether it’s effects “were intoxicating enough to make it unlawful”. The “wine of Islam” enraptured the Persians because real wine was strictly forbidden to Muslims."
© Sahar Huneidi