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Coffee Museum: The First of its Kind in Dubai

The Coffee Museum opened its doors to public in October 2014

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coffee beans
coffee beans. Pixabay

Dubai, Sep 20, 2017: A popular beverage in most parts of the world, coffee is much more than just a drink in the Middle East. It is an integral part of the region’s heritage, a celebration of its culture and a dedicated coffee museum in Dubai — the first of its kind in the Middle East — stands as testimony to the region’s longstanding tryst with the drink.

Just like the traditional value that most Indians associate with “chai”, coffee is the customary drink served to visitors in most homes in the Middle East.

“It is a part of our heritage. The way we have been brought up, coffee has always occupied a vital space in our culture. So even the poor, those who cannot afford anything, will serve coffee to their guests and welcome them,” museum owner Khalid Al Mulla, a noted coffee trader and collector, told this visiting IANS correspondent.

But even before Mulla elaborated on the history of coffee and its particular significance in the Middle Eastern context, the museum was already a feast for our eyes. In a city of skyscrapers that revels in pomp and gaiety, this museum comes as some sort of relief to the souls of wanderers. It tells not only the regional but also the global history of coffee.

Also Read: A Pilgrim Smuggled Coffee Beans To India: The Intriguing History of the Development of Coffee Culture 

The museum’s shop is the first thing that catches the eye on entering this villa. Here one finds coffee mugs from several countries, personal hand grinders and other similar stuff to carry home.

Enter the museum and your are spellbound at the sight of a beautiful lady, dressed in traditional Egyptian attire serving traditional coffee and popcorn to visitors. Along with a cup of coffee prepared in authentic African style, she also told us a fable. “Marriages are not made by gods. They are made by coffee,” she proclaimed, before bursting into loud laughter.

She explained that in Turkey, marriages are often decided over coffee. When a proposal comes to the family, the girl approves it by preparing a good cup of coffee. But when she has to reject the proposal, she adds a pinch of salt.

The ground floor includes a room for Western antiques, and another for Orientalism. A dedicated corner is designed to showcase various types of coffee. There is also an Egyptian corner, which shows the history of coffee since the days of the Ottoman Empire. One of the most rare treasures in the basement, which transports you to back into time, is the “Swedish roast” dating to 1840.

Then, there is the German grinder from the World War II era and many mills that were collected from Britain, dating as far back as 1860. The museum also contains ancient toasters and old paintings that tell the history of coffee and its methods of manufacture and preparation. There is also a literature room, which displays texts related to coffee, from the eighteenth century to the present day.

The upper floor lounge includes a small coffee shop, offering coffee and snacks to visitors. What strikes you is that even the sweets offered here have a distinctive coffee flavour.

As we stroll through the museum and its distinctive rooms, Mulla, who is a mobile information bank about the cultivation of coffee and the ways of transporting and making it, elaborated on the history of what is one of the most popular drinks in the world today.

He said that the origin of coffee can be traced to the Ethiopian highlands many centuries ago. As the Legend of Kaldi has it, he said, coffee was discovered accidentally when a goat ate some unknown berries from a tree and remained alert for the rest of the night.

A drink was prepared from these berries by worshippers in the local monasteries and it helped them stay awake during the long hours of prayers. The message spread rapidly until it reached the Arabian peninsula, from where the Arabs took this newly found drink to other parts of the world.

The Coffee Museum opened its doors to public in October 2014.

(Saket Suman’s visit to Dubai was at the invitation of Dubai Tourism. He can be contacted at saket.s@ians.in)

(IANS)

 

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Coffee Compounds May Inhibit Growth of Prostate Cancer

It also showed the growth reduction occurred in transplanted tumour cells, rather than in native tumour cells

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Coffee can have both positive and negative effects. We need to find out more about the mechanisms behind these findings before we can think about clinical applications. Pixabay

Besides being the perfect morning drink, coffee may also play a role in delaying prostate cancer, finds a study, which may pave the way for treating drug-resistant cancer.

Scientists from Kanazawa University in Japan have identified kahweol acetate and cafestol — hydrocarbon compounds naturally found in Arabica coffee — which may inhibit growth of prostate cancer.

The pilot study showed kahweol acetate and cafestol can inhibit growth in cells that are resistant to common anti-cancer drugs like Cabazitaxel.

“We found that kahweol acetate and cafestol inhibited growth of cancer cells in mice, but the combination seemed to work synergistically, leading to a significantly slower tumour growth than in untreated mice,” said lead author Hiroaki Iwamoto.

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The pilot study showed kahweol acetate and cafestol can inhibit growth in cells that are resistant to common anti-cancer drugs like Cabazitaxel. Pixabay

For the study, presented at the European Association of Urology Congress in Barcelona, the team tested six compounds, naturally found in coffee, on proliferation of human prostate cancers cells in vitro (i.e. in a petri-dish).

They found cells treated with kahweol acetate and cafestol grew more slowly than controls. They then tested these compounds on prostate cancer cells, transplanted to mice (16 mice).

“After 11 days, the untreated tumours had grown by around three and a half times the original volume (342 per cent), whereas tumours in the mice treated with both compounds had grown by just over one and a half (167 per cent) times the original size,” Iwamoto said.

It also showed the growth reduction occurred in transplanted tumour cells, rather than in native tumour cells.

 

ALSO READ: Apple Watch Can Detect And Notify Users Irregular Heart Rhythms

Although “these are promising findings, but they should not make people change their coffee consumption,” cautioned Professor Atsushi Mizokami from the varsity.

“Coffee can have both positive and negative effects. We need to find out more about the mechanisms behind these findings before we can think about clinical applications. But if we can confirm these results, we may have candidates to treat drug-resistant prostate cancer,” Mizokami noted. (IANS)