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The Origins of Coffee: What’s behind the world’s most popular drink?

The Origins of Coffee: What’s behind the world’s most popular drink?

With over 400-billion coffee cups consumed in a single year, it’s safe to say that the world loves coffee. The rich taste of coffee has been around for years and has become a staple part of many of our lifestyles. From the first thing that you drink in the morning to a social activity, coffee plays an active part in all of our lives. However, coffee has been around solong, that we often forget where it all started from. For your information, let’s take a quick trip down memory lane. What made coffee? How did it come to be? How was it discovered?

The origin of coffee: a wonderful mystery

Part of what makes coffee so mysterious is that we don’t know its earliest origins. There are myths and legends, each of which can be disputed. However, it’s earliest traces often come back to the plateaus of Ethiopia. Apparently, a goat herder by the name of Kaldi was the one to “discover” coffee. He came across the product when he noticed his goats eating some “berries” from a tree.

After doing so, their increased energy levels made him pause to take thought. Unable to sleep at evening, he headed to a local monastery for answers. Bringing some of the “berry” with him, legend has it that the drink was made. It kept the local monks of the monastery wired and awake, even during normally sleepy evenings!

This was shared with other monks and, before long, word of these “berries” spread around the Arabian Peninsula. This helped to start the beginning of coffee becoming a worldwide phenomenon.

The rise of the coffee trade

By the 15thCentury, coffee was being grown across Yemen, and was found commonly in nations like Egypt, Turkey and Syria. It even became the source of many public houses, creating a social drink that so many enjoyed. Early day coffee houses became homes for those who wishes to socialize, hang around with friends, mingle with associates and listen to music.

Coffee continued to spread in popularity, too, thanks to the many pilgrims coming to Mecca. Upon their return, they would spread word of coffee to others, creating a global demand. Come the 17thCentury, then, coffee was a major part of the European trading circuit.

While it was often shunned by more religiously fervent parts of Europe, it became a drink of choice after Pope Clement VIII gave it papal approval. Just as across Arabia and beyond, the coffee house became a thing of immense popularity in Europe, too. These coffee houses helped to become home to many industries and businesses, all started – as any idea is – with a nice cup of coffee.

Spread across the world by the Dutch Empire, being grown specifically in present day Indonesia, by the 1700s it was a major part of life in Europe, Arabia and the Americas. Indeed, it was at this stage that coffee found its way to Brazil through Francisco de Mello Palheta, sent by the French Guiana to pick up coffee seedlings. Inside a bouquet of flowers, enough coffee seedlings were used to create one of the biggest coffee industries in the world.

We may never know the truly, very first beginnings of coffee. What we do know, though, is that ever since it was discovered it has been enjoyed as a delicacy. That is unlikely to stop anytime soon, especially with the constant demand for new kinds of coffee. Indeed, coffee today is among the most sought after commodities on the planet – even ranking just below crude oil in some cases!

Remember that, the next time that you make a coffee: this is something enjoyed for centuries.

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