Coffee - THE Drink of Choice
Did you know coffee is the most consumed beverage in the world. How did coffee get this ranking? What country first figured out coffee was safe for consumption? When was the first drink of coffee prepared? Where did the first coffee shop come in being? There are many questions about the starting point of drinking coffee. It has been so long ago no one really knows all the facts. But, one thing is for sure, coffee is the most consumed beverage on the planet.
The Beginning of Coffee
It looks as if the first trace came out of Abyssinia and was also sporadically in the vicinity of the Red Sea around seven hundred AD. Along with these people, other Africans of the same period also have a history of using the coffee berry pulp for more than one occasion like rituals and even for health.
Coffee began to get more attention when the Arabs began cultivating it in their peninsulas around eleven hundred AD. It is speculated that trade ships brought the coffee their way. The Arabs started making a drink that became quite popular called gahwa--- meaning to prevent sleep. Roasting and boiling the bean was how they made this drink. It became so popular among the Arabs that they made it their signature Arabian wine and it was used a lot during rituals.
After the coffee bean was found to be a great wine and a medicine, someone discovered in Arabia that you could also make a different dark, delicious drink out of the beans, this happened somewhere around twelve hundred AD. After that it didn't take long and everyone in Arabia was drinking coffee. Everywhere these people traveled the coffee went with them. It made its way around to India, North Africa, the eastern Mediterranean, and was then cultivated to a great extent in Yemen around fourteen hundred AD.
Other countries would have gladly welcomed these beans if only the Arabs had let them. The Arabs killed the seed-germ making sure no one else could grow the coffee if taken elsewhere. Heavily guarding their plants, Yemen is where the main source of coffee stayed for several hundred years. Even with their efforts, the beans were eventually smuggled out by pilgrims and travelers.
Coffee Shops Appear
Around 1475 the first coffee shop opens in Constantinople called Kiv Han two years after coffee was introduced to Turkey, in 1554 two coffee houses open there. People came pouring in to socialize, listen to music, play games and of course drink coffee. Some often called these places in Turkey the "school of the wise", because you could learn so much by just visiting the coffee house and listening to conversations. In the sixteen hundreds coffee enters Europe through the port of Venice. The Turkish warriors also brought the drink to Balkans, Spain, and North Africa. Not too much later the first coffee house opens in Italy.
There were plenty of people also trying to ban coffee. Such as Khair Beg a governor of Mecca who was executed and Grand Vizir of the Ottoman Empire who successfully closed down many coffee houses in Turkey. Thankfully not everyone thought this way.
Coffee Tips Arrive
In the early sixteen hundreds coffee is presented to the New World by man named John Smith. Later in that century, the first coffee house opens in England. Coffee houses or "penny universities" charged a penny for admission and for a cup of coffee. The word "TIPS" (for service) has it's origin from an English coffee house.
Early in the 17th century, Edward Lloyd's coffee house opens in England. The Dutch became the first to commercially transport coffee. The first Parisian café opens in 1713 and King Louis XIV is presented with a lovely coffee tree. Sugar is first used as an addition to coffee in his court.
The America's Have Coffee
Coffee plants were introduced in the Americas for development. By close to the end of the seventeen hundreds, 1,920 million plants are grown on the island.
Evidently the eighteen hundreds were spent trying to find better methods to make coffee.
The Coffee "Brew" in the 20th Century
New methods to help brewing coffee start popping up everywhere. The first commercial espresso machine is developed in Italy. Melitta Bentz makes a filter using blotting paper. Dr. Ernest Lily manufactures the first automatic espresso machine. The Nestle Company invents Nescafe instant coffee. Achilles Gaggia perfects the espresso machine. Hills Bros. begins packing roasted coffee in vacuum tins eventually ending local roasting shops and coffee mills. A Japanese-American chemist named Satori Kato from Chicago invents the first soluble "instant" coffee.
German coffee importer Ludwig Roselius turns some ruined coffee beans over to researchers, who perfected the process of removing caffeine from the beans without destroying the flavor. He sells it under the name Sanka. Sanka is introduced in the United States in 1923.
George Constant Washington an English chemist living in Guatemala, is interested in a powdery condensation forming on the spout of his silver coffee flask. After checking into it, he creates the first mass-produced instant coffee which is his brand name called Red E Coffee.
Prohibition goes into effect in United States. Coffee sales suddenly increase. Brazil asked Nestle to help find a solution to their coffee surpluses so the Nestle Company comes up with freeze-dried coffee. Nestle also made Nescafe and introduced it to Switzerland.
Other Interesting Coffee Tidbits
Today the US imports 70 percent of the world's coffee crop. During W.W.II, American soldiers were issued instant Maxwell House coffee in their ration kits.
In Italy, Achilles Gaggia perfects his espresso machine. The name Cappuccino comes from the resemblance of its color to the robes of the monks of the Capuchin order.
One week before Woodstock, the Manson family murders coffee heiress Abigail Folger as she visits with her friend Sharon Tate in the home of filmmaker Roman Polanski.
Starbuck's Hits the Coffee World
Starbucks opens its first store in Seattle's Pike Place public market in 1971. This creates madness over fresh-roasted whole bean coffee. Coffee finally becomes the world's most popular beverage. More than 450 billion cups are sold each year by 1995.
The Current Coffee Trends
Now in the 21st century we have many different styles, grinds, and flavors of coffee. We have really come a long way even with our coffee making machines. There's no sign of coffee consumption decreasing. Researchers are even finding many health benefits to drinking coffee. Drink and enjoy!
By Hilda Maria
The History Of Coffee
Coffee - THE Drink of Choice