Amazing History of Coffee-Discover, Origin and Spreading Out the World

  the history of coffee

The story of how the cultivation and consumption of coffee spread throughout the world is one of the most attractive and romantic there is. That story begins in the Horn of Africa, in Ethiopia, where the coffee tree probably originated in the province of Kaffa. There are several fanciful but unlikely accounts of how the attributes of the roasted coffee bean were discovered. One of them describes that an Ethiopian goat herder was amazed by the lively behavior of the goats after chewing red coffee cherries What is known with more certainty is that the slaves who were taken from what is now the Sudan to Yemen and Arabia through the great port of that time, Mocha, now synonymous with coffee, ate the succulent meaty part of the coffee cherry. What is certain is that coffee was cultivated in Yemen as early as the 15th century and probably much earlier as well.

Moca was also the only main port of the sea route to Mecca, the busiest place in the world at that time. The Arabs coffee authorities had taken a strict policy not to export fertile coffee beans, so that it could not be grown anywhere else. The outer layer of coffee bean is very important, the coffee bean is the seed of the coffee tree, but if the outer layers are removed it becomes infertile. Many were the attempts that were made to get some coffee trees or its fertile seeds, but that race was finally won by the Dutch in 1616, and they managed to take some to Holland and grew them in greenhouses.

The Yemeni authorities at first strongly encouraged the consumption of coffee, because its effects were considered most preferable to the stronger effects of “Kat”, it’s a bush plant whose leaves and shoots were chewed as a stimulant. The first coffee house was opened in Mecca and called “kaveh kanes”. Such type coffee house quickly spread throughout the Arab world, and became busy places where played chess, gossip was being exchanged, and singing, dancing, and music were enjoyed. The establishments were luxuriously decorated and each had its own character. Nothing had ever been like the coffee shop: a place where you could socialize and do business in a comfortable environment and where everyone could go for the price of a coffee.

Asia's Coffee Revolution: Coffee Comes to Asia

asia's coffee revolution

At that time, The Dutch was the strongest colonial establishing force, and they began growing coffee in Malabar, India, and in 1699 brought some to Batavia, Java, now under the province of Indonesia. Later on, the Dutch colonies had become the main source of coffee supply to Europe. Among the coffee exporter countries, now Indonesia is the fourth largest coffee exporter in the world.

Coffee Reaches Europe

By the Venetian merchants were first brought coffee to Europe in 1615. That was the time when the other two great hot drinks also appeared in Europe: the first, hot chocolate, which was brought by the Spanish from the Americas to Spain in 1528; the other is tea, which was first sold in Europe in 1610.

coffee reaches the europe

A 17th-century depiction of a coffee house in London. (Epoch Times)

          Photo Credited To: Journal of the American Revolution

Coffee was originally sold mainly by lemonade vendors and was believed to have medicinal qualities. The first coffee establishment in Europe was opened in Venice in 1683, and it was the famous Caffè Florian in St. Mark's Square, that opened in 1720 and is still open to the public today.

The world's largest insurance market, Lloyd's of London, began operating as a coffee shop. The business was started in 1688 by Edward Lloyd, who prepared lists of ships that his clients had insured there.

Coffee Reaches the Americas

The first reference to coffee being drunk in North America dates back to 1668, and soon after that date, coffee shops opened in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and a few other cities. The 1773 Boston Tea Party was planned at a coffee shop, the Green Dragon. Both the New York Stock Exchange and the Bank of New York began in coffee shops in what is now the financial district of Wall Street.

It was in the 1720s that coffee was first cultivated in the Americas, thanks to what is perhaps the most fascinating and romantic account of coffee history. Gabriel Mathieu De Clieu was a French naval officer on duty in Martinique who, in 1720, traveled to Paris on leave. With some help and not a little personal charm he acquired a coffee tree which he took with him on the return sea voyage. The coffee tree was installed in a glass box and left on the deck to keep it warm and not be damaged by the salt water. The trip was full of incidents, or at least that's how Mathieu De Clieu told it in his diary: Tunisian pirates chased the ship, there was a strong storm and the coffee tree had to be moored. Our hero was forced to face an enemy on board who was envious and tried to sabotage the bush, there was a violent fight in which one of its branches broke, and fortunately the coffee tree survived all of this.

coffee reaches the americas

After just these incidents, the ship was immovable cause of lack of wind and drinking water was rationed. De Clieu thought and it was very clear to him that what was the most important of all and he gave up most of the water that corresponded to the coffee tree. Surprisingly, the coffee tree survived and so did he.

Lastly, the ship reached Martinique and the coffee tree was replanted at Preebear, and cared for by slaves the coffee tree grew, multiplied in large scale, and in 1726 the first harvest was made. It has been recorded that in 1777 there were between 18 and 19 million coffee trees in Martinique.

History said that the Dutch, first began to propagate the coffee tree in Central and South America, where today it is the main commercial crop on the continent. Suriname in 1718, got the first taste of introducing Coffee as a Dutch colony, and later coffee plantations were planted in French Guiana and the first of many in Brazil, in Pará. At first, in 1730 the British introduced coffee to Jamaica, and today the most famous and expensive coffee in the world is grown in the Blue Mountains. By the British, within 1825, Central and South America were also en route to their coffee destiny. In United States of America, Hawaii was the first place that coffee introduced and that date is also important because Hawaii produces the only American coffee and one of the best.

The Coffee Today

United States of America is the big market for coffee and have the world's largest consumers, of late Seattle is the new spiritual home of coffee. The major rainiest city in the United States gave birth, in the 1970s, to a coffee or “Latte” culture that took hold in the United States of America, and dramatically developed the standard quality of coffee that consumers drink in America. Today, in any public place in the United States there will be one or more coffee stands offering a variety of coffees, drinks and snacks.

The newly discovered “Coffee” and “Coffee Culture” has begun to spread to the rest of the world. Few of European countries that already had a great coffee culture and tradition, such as Italy, Germany and the Scandinavian countries, it added new changes to the pleasures of good coffee. In the era of globalization, today it is easy to find good coffee in any major city even though in localized city in the world, from London Las Vegas to Sydney to Tokyo or to Delhi; Yes, tomorrow very near, there will be more coffee around the world and, more importantly, better coffee.

Economics of Coffee and Global Commodity

The economics of coffee and its significance in the world cannot be overstated. Coffee is one of the most respected, and valuable key products, second in value for many years only to oil for the source of foreign exchange for developing countries. The cultivation, processing, trading, transportation and marketing of coffee provides employment for millions of people around the world. In present time, coffee now has been the crucial importance to the economy and politics of many developing countries such as South America, Africa and some parts of Asia. Above said continent countries that lead the LDC countries (Least Developed Countries), coffee exports characterize a substantial part of their foreign exchange earnings, in some cases 80% plus. Coffee is a commodity that is traded in the main commodity and futures markets, most notably in London and New York.

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