A Brief History of Coffee

Coffee lovers everywhere can thank the Ethiopians for their favorite warm and flavorful liquid energy booster. Second only to petroleum, coffee is one of the most traded commodities in all of the world, and it has slowly made its way from Ethiopia, to the Middle East, across Europe and Asia, and finally to the United States.

The story goes like this: It is believed that an Ethiopian goat herder watched his energized goats run about after eating cherries off of a tree. The goat herder told the local monastery abbot about his discovery. The abbot decided to pick the cherries, dry and boil them, turn the roasted beans into grinds, and dissolve them into hot water to achieve the same energized effect, ultimately creating the first aromatic cup of coffee.

In its earliest days, coffee was typically enjoyed indoors among people as they socialized. Similar in some ways to alcohol, coffee drinkers enjoyed their beverage with a side of entertainment, like games, gossip, and performances. Also similar to alcohol, coffee was believed to be “sinful” and was banned and outlawed as it made its way through the Middle East and Europe. Upon landing in Venice, Italy in 1570, coffee’s popularity quickly grew, and by 1615, Pope Clement VII had declared it a Christian drink, and coffee houses began to spring up all across Europe. It became overwhelmingly popular and continued to spread, and by 1773, coffee was introduced to the Americas by way of the Boston Tea Party when coffee replaced tea as America’s beverage of choice.

Quite obvious to people today, innovation has since taken over and coffee has quickly become a global phenomenon. Each part of the world enjoys their cup a bit differently, experimenting with the various ways the brewed beverage can be created. But, with over 400 billion cups consumed each year, coffee is easily one of the largest commonalities shared across the world.