Where did the name Omar and the Marvellous Coffee Bird come from?

'Where did the name Omar and the Marvellous Coffee Bird come from? is one of the most common questions we get asked.

So we thought it was about time we explained.

Dean and Andy spent two years researching and searching before they finally opened Omar and the Marvellous Coffee Bird. During their research they read loads of books and found one that was intriguing. It was a book called All About Coffee by William H. Ukers. And this is where they found the name, notice the caption of this drawing?

OMCB drawing-1

The first edition was released in 1922 and the book we have is the second edition which was released in 1935. Whilst this book is quite old now it is still relevant and a captivating read. The following is an extract from the book.

Ukers, William H, 1935, All About Coffee, Pub. city, Pub. name p 9

"A Popular and much-quoted version of Omar's discovery of coffee, also based upon the Abd-al-Kadir manuscript, is the following:

In the year of the Hegira 656, the mollah Schadheli went on a pilgrimage to Mecca. Arriving at the mountain of the Emeralds (Ousab), he turned to his disciple Omar and said 'I shall die in this place. When my soul has gone forth, a veiled person will appear to you. Do not fail to execute the command which he will give you.

The venerable Schadheli being dead. Omar saw in the middle of the night a gigantic spectre covered by a white veil.

'Who are you?' he asked

The phantom drew back his veil and Omar saw with surprise Schadheli himself had grown ten cubits since his death. The Mollah dug in the ground and water miraculously appeared. The spirit of his teacher bade Omar fill a bowl with the water and to proceed on his way and not to stop till he reached the spot where the water would stop moving.

'It is there' he added 'that a great destiny awaits you.'

Omar started his journey. Arriving at Mocha in Yemen, he noticed that the water was immovable. It was here that he must stop.

The beautiful village of Mocha was then ravaged by the plague. Omar began to pray for the sick and, as the saintly man was close to Mahomet, many found themselves cured by his prayers.

The plague meanwhile progressing, the daughter of the King of Mocha fell ill and her father had her carried to the home of the dervish who cured her. But as this young princess was of rare beauty, after having cured her, the good dervish tried to carry her off. The king did not fancy this kind of reward. Omar was driven from the city and exiled on the mountain of Ousab, with herbs for food and a cave for a home.

'Oh, Schadheli, my dear master,' cried the unfortunate dervish one day; 'if the things which happened to me at Mocha were destined, was it worth the trouble to give me a bowl to come here?'

To these just complaints, there was heard immediately a song of incomparable harmony, and a bird of marvellous plumage came to rest in a tree. Omar sprang forward quickly toward the little bird which sang so well, but then he saw on the branches of the tree only flowers and fruit. Omar laid hands on the fruit, and found it delicious. Then he filled his great pockets with it and went back to his cave. As he was preparing to boil a few herbs for his dinner, the idea came to him of substituting for this sad soup, some of his harvested fruit. From it he obtained a savoury and perfumed drink; it was coffee"