Quick Recipes and Easy

The History of Coffee

Many cigar smokers delight in a stogie with a nice bottle of wine or a full glass of whiskey. Others delight in pairing a stick with a strong beer or setting a cigar up with a sweet girl named “Brandy.” Then there are those who simply reckon cigars and coffee are the ideal combo: go over Wheaties, there’s a new breakfast of champions.

This may seem odd, coffee and cigars are so different. Yet, this is often the case when it comes to consumption. From eggs and ham to French fries and chocolate malts, from wine and cheese to peanut butter and jelly, the world is full of very different things that enhance each other.

Though it may seem to be a recent trend, the coffee and cigar match up has been brewing for years.

It is no coincidence that history saw tobacco and coffee gaining popularity at the same time: people knew from the start that cigars were excellent with a cup of Joe. But, seeing how we have already detailed the history of the tobacco seed (hi, Christopher Columbus), this article will talk about the history of the other. Coffee, this mug’s for you.

Your Cup Runneth Over

Throughout the ages, coffee has been excellent to the last drop, the best part of waking up, and filled to the brim. For many of us, coffee is conducive to our morning functioning: we can’t leave home without it in our system. This aside, most of us don’t really know that much about coffee, other than how we take it. Not only is coffee rich in flavor and aroma, but it is also rich in past. From the cafes of centuries of yore to present-day Starbucks, where exactly has coffee bean, er, been?

Grinding Out a New Drink

The history of coffee goes all the way back to the 9th century, perhaps even further. No one is completely certain how it was learned, making the way for several legends. The most well-known legend involves an Ethiopian goat herder named Kaldi who spotted goats eating coffee berries in the highlands of Ethiopia. He noticed that after the goats ate the berries they possessed more spunk and alertness. Kaldi followed the goats lead and ingested the berries himself: he immediately felt more energetic.

From Ethiopia, coffee was distributed to Yemen, Egypt, Turkey and Persia. Despite its dispersal – and the opening of the first coffee house in 1457 Constantinople -coffee was not well received, at least not at first. By 1511, the rulers of the court in Mecca deemed it forbidden, believing that its stimulating effects were sinful. Coffee, but, had a fantastic amount of fans and just 13 years later, the ban was removed by Ottoman Turkish Sultan Selim I.

In 1532, Egypt saw a similar ban as places that served coffee and warehouses filled with coffee beans were ruined. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church also banned coffee around the 17th century, believing its consumption mirrored some sort of pagan ritual.

Coffee, as a word, is believed to have been derived from the Italian word caffe sometime around 1600. Filtered throughout the ages, the word caffe was produced using Turkish and Arabic words, words that translated to mean “the wine of the bean.”

Europe of Bust

From the Middle East, coffee made its way to 17th century Europe where it quickly gained popularity. This momentum was spearheaded by the Dutch, who started to import coffee in large quantities and grow it in Java, an island they (at the time) possessed. Coffee was not only thought of as a stimulant, but it was also thought of as everything from a medicine to a luxury.

Coffee came to the American colonies from Europe. Here, it was received with less than open arms: the colonists preferred alcohol. This opinion, but, changed when the rest of the world changed: during the American Revolutionary War.

As Americans fought British forces, the demand for coffee skyrocketed. This demand was largely do to the reduction of available tea (compounded by the 90,000 pounds thrown in the Boston Harbor). Once Americans started to replace tea with coffee, they developed a liking.

The taste buds of America looked even more favorably upon coffee during the 19th century. This was catapulted by both the War of 1812, in which access to tea was cut off temporarily, and the Civil War, where coffee reached one of its highest demands.

As the Americans were perfecting their taste for the bean, the Brazilians were perfecting the bean itself. In 1727, Brazil built the first coffee plantation and, by the early 1800′s, their coffee was quickly becoming some of the best in the world. They took it from being a stimulant, to being a drink for the mouths of the masses.

Today, in America and otherwise, coffee flows like water. Not only is it produced in a variety of regions, but it is a major economic staple for many countries, particularly third world countries, and has succeeded in going from being a drink to being the center of many social gatherings. In the US alone, over six billion gallons of coffee are consumed annually. This amounts to over 22 gallons a person, leaving drinkers both awake and in need of a bathroom.

Jennifer Jordan is an editor and staff writer for whatsknottolove.com whatsknottolove.com. At home in a design firm in Denver, Colorado, she writes articles specific to the finer things in life.

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