History of Coffee

A bit of history was shared about where coffee comes from a couple of posts back. This week we dive in deeper and take a look at how coffee got to where it is today.

The earliest recorded evidence of the consumption of coffee comes from the middle east in the 15th century. Coffee beans were taken from ethiopia into Yemen where the majority of the coffee drinkers were. At this point in time coffee was mainly consumed by the Islamic world. As the popularity of this drink grew it began to be exported to neighboring countries.

In the late 1500’s the strong trade between The Republic of Venice and North Africa led to coffee finally making its way into Europe. Coffee was sold to the wealthy people of Venice as a drink with curative powers. Coffee wasn't completely accepted at first because some religious leaders did not approve of it. There were different opinions on whether coffee should be accepted or not, but all of those were put to rest when the Pope himself condoned the use of it. After this happened the use of coffee quickly spread throughout Europe.

Coffee in Europe began to be consumed mostly in small coffee houses where it was sold. These coffee houses were different than what we have now. They were about the community and about people. They were very social places where people came in and enjoyed a cup together.

As trade within European countries expanded, so did the influence of coffee. Many coffee houses began to pop up across Europe and the Middle East. European trading companies eventually brought coffee to the new world. Coffee plantations in the new world brought something new to the mix. These plantations for the most part were in tropical regions that gave coffee different flavors.

Eventually the Americas started producing coffee and exporting it back to Europe. Coffee got cheaper as industrialization and efficient farming practices made it easier to grow. This industrial movement led to the growth in the coffee chain. Over the years the world has seen a huge increase in coffee franchises. Many coffee enthusiasts believe that these franchises take away from the rich history coffee possesses.

This is a very simplistic explanation of what has happened over many centuries. Coffee has come a long way and it hasn't stopped evolving. Every generation brings something new to the table. It is exciting to see where this generation is taking coffee, and we are happy to be part of that. This generation of coffee lovers wants the joy of coffee to go beyond just the drink.  Coffee is more than just a drink. It has become part of millions of people’s lives. For the farmers growing it, it is the fruit of their hard work. This generation is bridging the gap between the grower and the consumer. It is time for this very important drink to go #beyondthecup