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Epic History of Coffee Part 1

  • 7 min read

There is no way to know exactly the exact date or how coffee was first discovered, but there are numerous legends regarding the coffee’s origins. Let us explore the history of coffee.

coffee history Ethiopia

An Ethiopian Legend

The world’s coffee industry can trace its roots through the centuries, all the way to the ancient coffee trees located on the Ethiopian plateau. According to legend, “Kaldi, the herder of goats” Kaldi first saw the value of these popular beans.

The legend goes that Kaldi discovered coffee when he observed that after eating the berries of one particular plant, the goats got so active that they were unable to rest at night.

Kaldi revealed his findings to his abbot from the monastery nearby who created a drink from the berries. He found it helped keep him awake during all the hours spent in night prayer. The abbot shared his findings with the monks who were also at the monastery and the knowledge of the powerful berries started to spread.

As the word spread to the east and coffee made it to the Arabian peninsula and began its trip that would transport coffee beans to all corners of the world.

The Arabian Peninsula

The cultivation of coffee and the trade-in it began in the Arabian Peninsula. The 15th century was the time when coffee was growing within the Yemeni district of Arabia and by the 16th century, it was cultivated to be grown in Persia, Egypt, Syria, and Turkey.

The coffee was not just consumed at home however, it was also enjoyed in the many coffee houses that were open to the public known as Qahveh Khaneh that started to pop up in cities throughout the Near East. The popularity of these coffee shops was unmatched and many people flocked to them for any kind of social event.

In addition to being able to enjoy coffee and talk as well, they also enjoyed performances, listened to the music played chess, and were up-to-date with the news. Coffee houses quickly became an important place to exchange information that they were frequently called “Schools of the Wise.”

With thousands of pilgrims coming to Mecca, the city that is holy to all Muslims Mecca every year from across the globe the knowledge of this “wine that is Araby” started to become widely known.

Coffee Comes to Europe

European travelers who traveled to Near East brought back stories of a unique dark, black drink. The 17th century was the time when coffee was making its way into Europe as well, and it was now more popular throughout the continent.

Certain people reacted to the new drink with fear or suspicion they called this drink a “bitter invented by Satan.” Local clergy opposed coffee when it arrived in Venice in 1615. The debate was so intense that Pope Clement VIII was asked to intervene. He decided to test the drink himself before making a decision. He was so pleased with the drink that he granted the papal blessing.

Despite the controversy, the coffee houses quickly became hubs of social interaction and interaction in the main cities in England, Austria, France, Germany, and Holland. There was a time when in England “penny university” was born, named because for the cost of a penny, one could buy a cup of coffee and engage in lively conversations.

Coffee started replacing the popular breakfast beverages of the day alcohol and wine. The people who took coffee in place of alcohol would start their day energized and focused and, not surprising it was evident that their quality of work was significantly improved. (We would like to think of this as a prelude to the current office cafe service.)

In the 17th century, there were more than 300 coffee shops in London Many of them attracted similar patrons, which included shippers, traders, brokers, and artists.

Many companies grew out of these coffee houses that were specialized. Lloyd’s of London, for instance, was founded in Edward Lloyd’s Coffee House.

The New World

In the early 1600s the coffee industry was introduced in the mid-1600s to New Amsterdam, later called New York by the British.

Coffee houses quickly appeared and tea was the most popular beverage across the New World until 1773 when the colonists revolted against the hefty tax on tea that was imposed by King George III. The revolution, also known as”the Boston Tea Party,” Boston Tea Party, would forever alter the American drinking habits to coffee.

“Coffee is the drink of choice of the modern world.” – Thomas Jefferson

Plantations Around the World

As the demand for the drink was growing There was intense competition for coffee to be grown in other regions of Arabia.

The Dutch finally had seedlings in the latter half of the 17th century. The first attempt to plant seeds in India was unsuccessful but they did succeed through their efforts at Batavia located on Java, the main island in Java which is now Indonesia.

The coffee plants flourished and the Dutch enjoyed a thriving and expanding market for coffee. The Dutch then extended their coffee plantations to islands like Sumatra as well as Celebes.

Coming to the Americas

In 1714 the Mayor of Amsterdam presented an early coffee plant to the King Louis XIV of France. The King asked it to get planted at the Royal Botanical Garden in Paris. In 1723 an officer from the navy Gabriel de Clieu received seeds from the King’s garden. Despite a difficult journey that included terrible weather as well as a saboteur who attempted to destroy the seedling and even a pirate attack Gabriel de Clieu was able to deliver the seedling safely to Martinique.

After being planted the seedling flourished, but was also believed to have sparked the spread of more than 18 million coffee plants on Martinique. Martinique within the following 50 years. It’s even more amazing how this plant was the mother of all coffee plants in all of the Caribbean, South, and Central America.

The well-known Brazilian coffee owes its origins its existence to Francisco de Mello Palheta, who was ordered by the emperor for French Guiana to get coffee seeds. The French weren’t willing to share their coffee, however, they did share with the French Governor’s wife, impressed by his attractive appearance and regal appearance, presented him with a huge bouquet of flowers prior to his departure. left. Buried inside were the seeds of coffee to create what is now an estimated billion-dollar business.

coffee history in America infographic
History of Coffee in America infographic

History of Coffee Coming to America

Travelers, missionaries traders, colonists, and missionaries continue to transport coffee seeds across new lands as well as coffee tree plantings were established throughout the world. Plantations were planted in beautiful tropical forests as well as on the rugged mountains. Certain crops prospered, whereas others were very short-lived. New nations were founded by the coffee industry. Fortunes were created and lost. At the close of the 17th century, coffee was one of the most lucrative export crops. Following crude oil, coffee is the most sought-after commodity in the world.

coffee history timeline infographic
History of Coffee Timeline

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