The History of Coffee

by Alouise Love

Coffee is a delicious drink that many of us enjoy daily, ranging from the healthy consumption of black coffee to the wonderful taste of caramel latté. We consume coffee so much that sometimes it's hard to think about life without it.

A glass with cold coffee is being filled with milk while sitting on a wooden waiter next to some coffee beans. Photo taken by Polina Kovaleva.

The well brewed drink that enchants us with its strong aroma is an acceptable drink in all parts of the world. The captivating thought of being energized by a hot latté in the morning or gaining fuel during the mid-hours of the day by an iced coffee is enough to have our taste buds craving for caffeine. However, have you ever wondered where coffee came from and when was the first drink ever made?

 The Beginning

Coffee was discovered by somewhat of an accident during the 9th century in Ethiopia by a goat herder named Kaldi. There were many trees and plants around the fields where he tended to his goats. These trees were filled with berries that Kaldi noticed his goats enjoyed eating quite a lot. 

Does this mean Kaldi's goats were the first coffee lovers?

Beautiful coffee berries on branches of a tree with sunlight passing through. A photo taken by Daniel Reche.

 

Kaldi started to take notice of his goats' behavior during night hours after the consumption of the berries that seemed truly delicious to them. After observing his goats' behavior for months Kaldi came to the realization that the goats were quite energetic and full of life during the night hours after eating the berries throughout the day. 

This recorded observation by Kaldi led to many historians and researchers arguing that it was indeed the first fact or theory that suggested coffee has both a good and bad effect. They argued based on the evidence by Kaldi that coffee can cause restless nights, but on the other it can cause a significant increase in energy. 

A black cut out stating "do you know, goats were the first coffee lovers" placed on an image with goats.

The Journey

The Belief of The Monks

Kaldi was very excited with what he had discovered and decided to share his findings with the monks of the village. The monks were very much skeptics, and refused to believe that a simple fruit can provide as much energy as Kaldi had explained. 

A monk walking along a nature path with trees on each side. The monk is covered in an orange robe. The photo was taken by Sadaham Yathra from Pexels

Later, a few of the monks decided that they would test Kaldi's claims. They decided to chew the biter fruit, and were quite happy and surprised that they did. The monks that did the test theory reported to the other monks (the ones that did not believe), that the energetic berry allowed them to be focus, alert and better attune to meditate during the night.

Soon, other monks began testing the theory themselves and were satisfied with their findings. It took 6 centuries of a slow build for the news of the energy fruit to spread across the region. There were many more skeptics along the way, so far as some even believed it was some sort of "devil fruit".

 

Yemen and The First Coffee Drink

During the 15th century, the wonder fruit reached the shores of the Asian continent in particular Yemen, where the official evolution of coffee drinks began. 

A wine glass stating that coffee was first a wine drink.

 

Coffee quickly became a hot commodity, where it started to be cultivated and traded in Yemen. This was the beginning of the coffee trade of the Arabian Peninsula, where trades mainly took place off the Mocha port in Yemen. Mocha soon became associated with coffee and this is arguably where the drink café mocha got its name from. 

Later on, during the 15th century, the first coffee drink was made by monks of southern Yemen, and it was referred to as coffee wine. The coffee wine was made through a roasting and somewhat brewing process but far from what we know coffee drinks are today. 

 

The First Coffeehouse

A coffee bar with a barista

 

The dark brown drink and coffee beans later spread to other Asian countries mainly Turkey, and to the European country of Serbia. This led to a change in lifestyle for many people, where pubs began serving the beautifully brewed drink. 

Many people enjoyed a great social life with the aid of the tasty brew, which opened people up to have conversations and served as something different from the traditional wine and beer. It can be argued that during these revolutionary times, that the first coffee date could have taken place. 

However, it was not until the 16th century the first official coffeehouse (café) was established in Istanbul (Constantinople), Turkey.   

Turkey also began experimenting with their own tasty type of coffee brew that is well known today.   

One century later many cafés were being established throughout the eastern side of the world. Despite the conflicts and doubts surrounding coffee and the love that Europeans had for tea and alcohol, there were many coffeehouses being opened in England, France, Germany and Holland, during the 17th century.

People enjoying themselves in a vintage English pub.

It wasn't long after that coffee became an accepted and enjoyable drink even replacing tea and alcohol for the number one spot among consumers. This change also saw an increase in the social life of Europeans, with many claiming that the drink has helped them with alertness and the enjoyment of the company of others. 

 

The Introduction of Coffee to The West

Coffee was brought to the Americas in the latter half of the 17th century by the British. In particular it was introduced to New York, but the reception was far from good, leading to the protest known as the Boston Tea Party that occurred in the 18th century. This protest was the result of traders being angered by the tax laws that were implemented on the trading of tea. 

Luckily, a blessing in disguised came out of the disaster as many people in the western side of the world grew a preference for coffee over tea.

       

 The World Today and Coffee 

Coffee had quite a rough journey, from skeptics, to bans and everything in between. However, today there are many different types of coffee drinks, beans and uses throughout the world. 

When it comes to coffee, we have many different choices to make including flavor, the way it's made and what we consume it in. This need for satisfaction and variety has seen an increase in coffee shops, coffee makers, barista, coffee flavors and coffee types; all giving us a variety and a choice to make. 

 

Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages in the world, although, the journey was quite bumpy. The fruit and first recorded benefits were found in Ethiopia while the first drink was made in Yemen. Today, Brazil produces the most amount of coffee worldwide and is known as the empire. 

There is evidence that more developments in coffee will soon arise and we'll be here for it. 

There's no secret that coffee is quite a delicious and enjoyable beverage, however, drinking it in the wrong mug isn't satisfying. Be sure to get a mug that matches your desire and entices your emotion for a great drinking experience from our shop

 


1 comment


  • Christina

    Lovely blog, I didn’t know anything about coffee history until today. Beautiful blog I must say.


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