Coffee, as we all know, has become a daily necessity for people across the globe. In fact, to brew a cup every morning is the first task for most coffee drinkers. But, have they pondered upon this important yet tasteful beverage, and how it made an entry into their lives?
Many trace back the origins of coffee to the ancient forests of the Ethiopian land. Stories of the past indicate that a herder named Kaldi first discovered coffee. He noticed how energetic his goats became after feeding on the berries of certain trees that they couldn't sleep the entire night. Later, he informed to the abbot of a local monastery who created a drink from the berries. The abbot was able to stay wide awake during his evening prayers and decided to share this discovery with the other monks of the monastery.
The word on energizing berries spread like fire and reached the Arabian Peninsula. This discovery motivated people to begin coffee cultivation and its trade in the region. By the 15th and 16th centuries, coffee reached the lands of Yemen and was noted in Persia, Egypt, Syria, and Turkey. Coffee was not only restricted to the domestic space. Many coffee houses were created for people to enjoy a cup during all kinds of social activities.
Journey to Europe & Other Continents
The word of this dark brown beverage reached Europe through European travelers, and by the 17th century coffee made its entry and became popular across the continent. During this phase, people replaced their common beers and wines with coffee during breakfast, as it helped them stay energized and active the entire day.
Coffee replaced tea in 1773, as heavy taxes were imposed on the favored drink of the New World. This further lead to an increase in the demand for the beverage, and fierce competition among people to cultivate coffee outside of Arabia.
By 1723, coffee reached the Americas. It took over 50 years to convert few seedlings into 18 million coffee trees. It later spread across the Caribbean, South, and Central America. By the end of the 18th century, it turned out to be the most profitable export crop and the most sought after commodity after oil!