Mocha Java

Written by Sarah Provost
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Mocha Java has the distinction of being the first blend of coffees ever made, in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. In fact, it was a blend of the only two coffees there were: beans from Yemen (where the main port was Mocha) and beans from Java, in Indonesia. Voila: Mocha Java. Tracing the history of how these two varieties came together is part of the history of coffee itself.

Most botanists agree that Coffee arabica first appeared in Ethiopia. It seems probable that the tree was cultivated, but as an herb, not as a beverage. No one can state with any certainty how it got to Yemen, where it next appeared, but Ethiopia invaded and occupied Yemen from 525-575 AD, which seems the most likely transition. From Yemen, the use of coffee spread, first as a medicine, then as a wildly popular beverage. Visitors to Cairo, Mecca, and other Arabian cities carried the desire for coffee back to their own lands.

The Europeans, of course, were frantic to grow coffee of their own, but the climate didn't allow it. Eventually the Dutch began plantations in Ceylon and then in Java, where coffee was first grown commercially in the early 18th century. So then there were two strains of arabica, and Mocha Java was created.

Mocha Java Is Still One of the Most Popular Blends

These two varieties, fortunately, complemented each other. Yemen beans produce an acidic medium-bodied coffee. Java beans are smoother and deeper, with a fuller, richer body. When blended, the result is a more complete, more balanced flavor than would result from either bean alone.

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