Coffee: A Brief History.
Many of us wake up every morning and brew our precious cup of coffee without thinking twice about how our precious beans came into our home in the first place. Throughout the years, coffee has traveled quite a bit to become the third largest drink consumed around the world. So, grab a cup and let’s dive in on a brief history of our favorite drink!
Coffee can be traced back to forests on the Ethiopian plateau. There, legend has it that the goat herder Kaldi first discovered the potential of our beloved coffee beans. The most popular story starts with Kaldi and his goats. Kaldi noticed that his goats were acting strangely, almost as if they were dancing and seemed to have a lot of energy. Which is pretty surprising considering how goats already seem to have very high levels of energy! That’s when Kaldi noticed that his goats consumed red berries and deduced that the berries were the cause of this odd behavior.
After realizing the effect the berries had on his goats, one story says that Kaldi shared the exciting news with a local monk who was delighted to find something to help him stay awake to pray at night. Another version of the story says that the monk disapproved of these strange berries energy and tossed them into the fire.
Either way, we can agree coffee came from Ethiopia. In coffees next big adventure, we find it making it’s way to the Red Sea and into Yemen. The first port coffee came to was Mocha, also known as al-Makha, which was a thriving marketplace for coffee during the 15th century clear to the 18th century. Coffee grew in popularity and was shipping from Mocha to Egypt, Turkey, and Persia and became known as the "wine of Araby". Soon enough, there were people gathering where coffee was served and the first instance of a coffee shop was born!
In the 1500's, coffee was forbidden in Mecca, Cairo, Egypt and Ethiopia because of the stimulating effect it had on everyone. Thankfully, they overturned their ruling after facing riots and complaints from their citizens.
Next up in in our travels, coffee landed in India, Indonesia, Italy and onward into the rest of Europe. During that time, Yemen was still the major provider for beans until coffee was smuggled into Southern India where you can still find the original farm in operation today.
In 1570, we find coffee has made it’s way to Venice and gained immediate popularity. So much so, that in 1615, Pope Clement VIII declared that it must be satanic! However, once the Pope tried it himself, he changed his mind and baptized it - declaring it a Christian beverage. Coffee shops began opening all throughout Europe where they soon were vibrant social hangouts just like they were in Arabia - and all over the globe today. The coffee houses were places used to connect with friends, neighbors, co-workers, and are the reason we have our cherished coffee shops today.
In 1669, France got it’s hands on the almighty bean thanks to the Turkish Ambassador to Paris. The French, like everyone else adored the drink and it gained popularity. In 1714, King Louis XIV of France was gifted a small coffee plant by the Dutch. From that tiny plant, came a small clipping taken by a French captain who sailed the clipping all the way to the Caribbean. Because of the ideal growing conditions in that region the plants flourished and eventually populated the Caribbean, Central and South America; moving all the way to Brazil which has become the largest coffee empire in the world. Such a long journey for such a tiny bean!
If you’re American you could probably guess that our love of coffee started with the Boston Tea Party in 1773. The English tax on tea started a protest in which tea was dumped from ships in the Boston harbor. Tea was then thought to be unpatriotic and was replaced by coffee as the new American favorite. Today, the U.S. is the largest importer of coffee. Joining the coffee growing family, America now cultivates coffee in Hawaii from seeds brought by the Brazilians which began the Kona legacy.
In summary, our little bean has traveled the globe bringing us so many different flavors, varieties, and friends. This article is a very condensed version of the coffee history, but we hope it has helped you understand coffee history a little better! We at Dripbox love coffee, the coffee culture, and how it brings people together. It's why we do what we do. So the next time you hear "Let's have a cup of coffee" take a moment to connect, chat, laugh, and appreciate the journey one small bean took to make your perfect cup. #sipthedrip
If you're ready to begin your own coffee bean journey you can view our coffee subscriptions and one-time buys on our site dripboxco.com!