Coffee has become an important part of people’s lives. It can be used to shake off some sleep in the morning or to power through an all-nighter for work or school. It can be difficult to trace where exactly this beverage was first discovered, but there have been accounts that have helped modern historians track its route around the world through the ages.
Regardless of whether you like frappes, Nespresso pods, americanos, or any other variation, it’s interesting to know how all these different coffee drinks stemmed from one source. For all the coffee-lovers out there, here’s a quick run-through of the history of coffee.
Earliest record of coffee in Ethiopia
Coffee was first found in the ancient coffee forests of the Ethiopian plateau. As the legend goes, a goat herder named Kaldi first discovered that after his goats ate berries from a specific tree, they became so energetic that it became difficult for them to sleep at night.
Kaldi shared his observations to the abbot of a local monastery, who mixed the berries into the drink and found that it also kept him awake at night for evening prayer. This abbot began telling other monks at the monastery about the drink—and soon after, coffee started being used in the area more widely.
Farming and trading coffee in the Arabian Peninsula
Formal attempts to cultivate and trade coffee started on the Arabian Peninsula. In the 15th century, it was being grown in the Yemeni district of Arabia. One century later, arabica coffee was a renowned drink in Egypt, Persia, Syria, and Turkey.
People started enjoying coffee in the comfort of their homes and in places called qahveh khaneh—public coffee houses—all across cities in the Near East. Coffee houses started becoming incredibly popular, causing people to start frequenting them for all kinds of social activity. This was a place where patrons could talk, listen to music, watch performers, play chess, and stay updated with local events.
Coffee houses had such a cultural stamp on the area that it quickly became referred to as “Schools of the Wise,” because they were places where people could exchange information.
Europe’s “bitter invention of Satan”
Europeans that traveled to the Near East brought home stories of the strange black foreign beverage. The 17th century marks coffee’s first journey to Europe, and it was also becoming popular all across the continent.
However, some people feared coffee, going as far as to call it the “bitter invention of Satan.” In fact, the local clergy of Venice condemned it in 1615—and it caused so much controversy that Pope Clement VIII was called to intervene. When he tasted coffee for himself, he found it so satisfying that he gave the beverage papal approval.
Coffee houses quickly sprung up across major cities in Austria, England, France, Germany, and Holland. In England, so-called “penny universities” were popular because people could pay a penny for a cup of coffee and have stimulating discussions with other individuals in the shops.
A booming coffee industry in the 18th century
Coffee continued to travel to new lands and establish itself in new societies with the work of missionaries, travelers, traders, and colonists. Plantations were made in a variety of different climates, from tropical forests to mountain highlands—and while some crops flourished, others were not as successful. The popularity of coffee helped sustain new nations, and by the end of the 18th century, it had become one of the world’s most profitable export crops!
The idea of a “best coffee” varies wildly from one person to another because of this drink’s long and illustrious history spent traveling around the world. There are so many different ways to enjoy it because of the way different societies have tried innovating it according to their cultural understanding of how to process the beans.
Cafe Joe sells EVO coffee capsules that have been developed to fully retain the freshness of newly harvested coffee beans, bringing a stronger and deeper flavor to the traditional espresso drink. It’s our entry to creating the best coffee experience possible for avid fans everywhere. Order now and experience the difference in our capsules for yourself!
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