Coffee History

No one knows when the history of coffee was actually invented, but some reliable Coffee Historysources say that the history of coffee began more than a thousand years ago. It’s believed that the first coffee plants came from the Horn of Africa on the shores of the Red Sea and were first taken as a food, not as a beverage. Ancient east African tribes, who lived in that region, had consumed some kind of coffee’s production to give their warriors much-needed energy for battle. Later in the 9th century, there appeared some evidence of coffee consumption in the highlands of Ethiopia. Some legends said Ethiopian shepherds noticed that their herds became more active than usual after consuming the red cherries of a wild coffee shrub. They tasted the fruit themselves and were pleased by its activating effects. Soon after that, the consumption of coffee plants was spread widely to nearby regions, and became well known for more people.

Around the 15th century, coffee spread to Egypt and Yemen, and subsequently reached the rest of the Middle East, Persia, Turkey and northern Africa. And at that time, the Yemen province of Arabia was considered the world’s primary source of coffee and most of its coffee production was transferred to the two Near East cities, Alexandria and Constantinople, where the demand for the plant was extremely high. According to Muslim records, coffee started to spread throughout Europe in the early 17th century when bulk coffee beans were imported by ships to the flourishing Venice port from North Africa, Egypt and the Middle East, and were subsequently introduced to the rest of Europe.

By the middle of the 17th century, the Dutch had come to dominate the world’s shipping industry, and also became the first nation to import coffee on a large scale. Additionally, the Dutch introduced large-scale coffee cultivation to their colonies in Indonesia on the islands of Java, Sumatra, Sulawesi and Bali in order to reign supreme in world coffee market. Around this time, coffee became one of the most popular drinks in England, France, Austria and the other nations in Europe.

In 1723, coffee plants were brought to North American continent by Gabriel de Clieu, a French naval officer, who transported coffee plants from Europe to Martinique, an island in the eastern Caribbean Sea. Coffee did not meet with success at the beginning as it had been in Europe, but the time of coffee was not far away. During the Revolutionary War, due to the reduced availability of tea from British merchants, the Americans reached for the other drink for replacement and the demand for coffee increased rapidly. Additionally in 1812, after the war was over, the British still temporarily cut off America from access to tea imports and this also made American coffee industry grow at a phenomenal rate.

Several decades later, coffee finally reached Latin America and Asia where cthe limate is perfectly fit for growing the plant. Unfortunately, a rare plant disease which spread through the coffee fields of Southeast Asia in the mid 19th century caused tremendous loss to many coffee planters. This allowed Latin America to emerge as the top coffee-producing continent, especially for Brazil, which is now considered the world largest coffee-producing country, an honor the country still holds today.


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