The history of the coffee is both exciting and adventurous – from the discovery of the small invigorating ‘power bars’ to being called ‘a pagan liquid’.
Every year, this black gold is poured into 400 billion cups worldwide.
The first stories about coffee are not documented, but the common feature of these is the discovery and exploitation of the stimulating effect of coffee.
The first most believable story is about 500 years before Christ in Ethiopia, which is considered to be the homeland of coffee because here the first coffee trees grew.
Coffee at that time was perceived as a food item and not a beverage, but one day an Arab goat shepherd discovered that his goats suddenly ran around like young animals after eating some red berries.
The shepherd told a monk who decided to taste the berries. The monk poured boiling water over the small ‘power bars’ and the drink made him feel so refreshed that he could stay awake for hours.
He took the drink to the monastery where he lived, and soon the monastery was called ‘The Waking Monastery’.
A religious drink
In the year 1450, an Arab sheik was traveling in Ethiopia and became so excited about the invigorating effect of coffee that in his homeland he gave the religious orders to drink coffee so that they could stay awake and pray at night.
Coffee was therefore now considered a religious drink.
In the holy city of Mecca, the first coffee house opened in 1470, and they met now not only to drink coffee but also to play games, listen to music and to exchange news and opinions.
As the Ottoman Empire expanded in the 16th century, coffee spread to Southwest Asia and North Africa, and over the next hundred years, coffee became commonplace in Turkey as well, and coffee began to sell on the streets.
Coffee cultivation was rare until the 15th century when extensive planting in the area around Yemen took place.
In the 17th century, coffee consumption generally increased in Europe, which led the Dutch, among other things, to start growing coffee in their colonies. Around this time, the coffee tree also reached French Guiana.
The story goes that a merchant named Francisco de Melo Palheta smuggled coffee seeds out of the country with the help of the governor’s wife. When he made his departure for Brazil, she handed him a bouquet of flowers containing illegal prayers.
Thousands of trees were planted here, and Brazil today is one of the world’s largest coffee producers because of the good living conditions in this climate.
From Brazil, coffee returned to its starting point when it was introduced in Kenya and Tanzania in the late 19th century, not far from its original point of departure, Ethiopia.
In 1615, Italian merchants brought the first coffee bags to Western Europe, and the refreshing effect of the drink quickly made it one of the favourite drinks, and coffee houses popped up everywhere.
Better citizenship immediately saw the business benefits of coffee drinking because it pulled workers away from alcohol and made them more reliable labour.
In 1647, Venice got its first coffee house, and in 1652 London followed suit. By 1715, London had no fewer than 2,000 coffee houses.
Here one could read newspapers and the intellectuals shared their wise words for ‘one penny’.
Therefore, the coffee houses were often called ‘Penny Universities’.
The coffee’s almost magical effect, we have enjoyed for centuries.
Many people cannot even begin the day without one or more cups of coffee. But where does the coffee really come from, and who discovered the invigorating effect of caffeine?
Of course, this is a very simplified version of the history of coffee, and many other exciting stories are hidden if you delve deeper into the history of coffee.
However, the goal here is just to give you a brief overview of the history of coffee’s origins.