The traditional way of grinding coffee in the Middle East.
History of Coffee
Today, coffee is the second most traded commodity worldwide. It has been an important economical resource since historical times. Coffee is a very popular drink that many people depend on in the morning before work, or to help get them through the day. But, where does coffee originate? And, what is the history of coffee that brought it to where it is today?
Here’s a brief history of coffee and how it has become as popular as it is today.
The beginning origins of coffee
While the actual date of the discovery of coffee was never actually recorded, it is believed that coffee had its origins in the province of Kaffa in Ethiopia. Coffee was being cultivated in Yemen before the 15th century. Arabs had tried to stop coffee beans from being exported to other countries but the Dutch successfully exported coffee beans to Holland in 1616. After this the production and exportation of coffee spread to the Dutch colonies in Indonesia.
In the 1600’s coffee was used for its therapeutic purposes both as a health remedy and drink. The first coffee house appeared in Oxford, England in 1650, but women were forbidden to enter the shops. Three years later, when a teahouse was opened, women found a place to converge.
Coffee in America
The first time coffee was recorded being used in America was 1668, but it wasn’t until the 1720’s that coffee cultivation began in America. Cultivation of coffee was introduced to the Americans by the Dutch. Today, the largest consumers of coffee are North Americans and Northern Europeans.
Coffee is a tropical plant which requires certain ecological factors to survive, including water, wind factor, soil quality, sunlight and the right temperature. Altitude levels also affect the prosperity and success of coffee.
Coffee belongs to the coffea genus and is a member of the Rubiaceae plant. The coffea species is usually an evergreen tree that grows to be between 16 and 30 feet. It has a grey colored park with shiny, dark green leaves and very strong smelling flowers. Coffee comes from the coffee seed, or coffee bean.
Some popular species of coffee include:
• Coffea liberica (Liberica coffee) - cultivated in West Africa and Central Africa.
• Coffea canephora (Robusta coffee) – cultivated in South East Asia, Central Africa and West Africa.
• Coffea Arabica (Arabian coffee) – this coffee includes tico, bourbon, mundo novo. This coffee is cultivated in Latin America, East Africa, Indonesia and Central Africa
Interesting coffee facts
• Four out of five Americans drink coffee every day.
• Coffee is one of the world’s most popular legal “drugs”.
• Coffee contains caffeine which contains antioxidants which are important to help the body fight free radicals.
• Coffee is a stimulant. It dilutes the blood vessels and pumps blood faster through the body. , which makes the brain and heart work faster.
• Coffee is promoted as a beauty aid for women. Many have been using it as a body scrub to help fight cellulite.
One little plant started this giant phenomenon and now coffee is one of the most popular drinks worldwide.