Coffee is the most popular beverage in the world today, but how did that come to be? How was it discovered and how did a few innocuous little beans come so very close to world domination? Lets find out through this brief historical timeline.
850: Coffee was discovered in Ethiopia by a herder, who noticed one of his sheep seemed quite elated. The sheep seemed to have eaten off of a strange plant growing red berries. After tasting the berries himself, the herder took the berries back to his village where a young monk mixed them with water to create a brew that helped give them so much more energy.
1000: The medicinal properties of coffee beans were recorded by Bukhara, who was an ancient philosopher and physician. Bukhara wrote extensively describing the effects of the coffee bean and its uses.
1100: Arabian traders’ and merchants’ interests peaked in the magical energizing beans and brought seeds from the coffee plant from Ethiopia to Yemen. Coffee was, for the first time, cultivated and harvested on plantations. They boiled the beans in simple water to create what they called qehwa, meaning, “that which inhibits sleep”.
1453: Coffee was introduced to the Ottoman Empire, who cleverly, infused the simple drink with rare and exotic spices such as cardamom, saffron, cloves and anise to concoct a more delectable brew.
1475: Coffee shops become hotspots for people in Constantinople. People visit the shops to drink coffee, partake in lively discussions. The Turks got so obsessed with coffee they passed a new law that stated a woman could freely divorce a man that wasn’t providing her with an adequate supply of coffee.
1511: The governor of Mecca, fearing the influence of coffee in debates and discussions throughout the country, tried to ban coffee so no one would try to oppose his rule. This resulted in an unfortunate riot throughout the country. The word got to the Sultan who ordered the governor to be beheaded claiming that coffee was sacred.
1600:Italian traders brought Coffeeto Europe, through ports in Venice. The Pope’s advisors tried to convince him that the coffee from the Ottoman Empire was perhaps a part of a threat from the infidels. However, the Pope baptized the brew making it acceptable for consumption by Christians.
1607:a British adventurer, John Smith, introduced Coffee to the “New World”.
1645: The initiation of the first public coffee house in Italy, 75 years after it was first introduce. The coffee house catered to the traders and travellers.
1652: The very first café opens in London. The idea of a coffee house spreads like wildfire and many more such locations are put up in different areas called “penny universities”. The coffee houses are open to everyone, from students to workers and people of all social classes except women.
1668: Beer was replaced by coffee as NewYork’s favourite beverage. Consumers of coffee declared it tasted much better with eggs and slowly set enroute to becoming a staple breakfast item.
The timeline continues... Wait for the next edition to get further insight into the history of Coffee.