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The History Of Coffee

Without a doubt, coffee production and consumption is a major business throughout the world. Coffee production has the second largest commodity ranking in the world (oil production is first), and coffee is a major foundation among family circles worldwide. But when exactly did this worldwide like affair with coffee start? When was it first realized that the innocuous small coffee bean would cause so much enjoyment?

There are several conflicting tales about the origin of coffee. One such tale involves a goat herder in Ethiopia around 800 A.D., who noticed that when his goats ate certain beans from a bush, they became more animated than normally. So he ate some himself and got the same reaction, and so he passed some around to his fellow herders, and pretty soon the coffee bean became a rage.

That tale is probably untrue, and we really don’t know exactly where or when coffee was learned and who learned it. We do know that the coffee plant was originally found in Ethiopia, and the plant’s beans were eaten as is. We know Ethiopia later exported the beans. Also we know that by the first millennium, coffee was very well known in most parts of the world. Arabs were probably the first to learn the ability to roast the bean and drink the resulting mixture.

Eventually coffee became very well loved throughout the world as an energizing drink. By the 1500s, in Istanbul, coffee houses were first made. They became so fashionable that other European countries soon followed suit, including France and England. Of course, these houses, just like the drink itself, were probably nothing like the trendy gourmet coffee shops we have today.

A man named Edward Lloyd set up one of the first coffeehouses in England, and that house later became the well-known insurance carrier Lloyd’s of London. Of course when the British came to America, they set up coffee shops throughout the 13 colonies.

And the coffee beans were found to grow in different southern climates. Columbia started growing the plant in the early 1800s, with Brazil soon following suit. Of course today Columbia is one of the most well-known and largest growers of the plant, as is Brazil. But also soon Hawaii got into the act with their Kona coffee, and of course the Indonesian island of Java became so widely known for their coffee, that one slang word for coffee is “java.” And today there are many different types of flavored coffees to choose from, for all sorts of gourmet coffee lovers

So all together it took about 1000 years for coffee to start from a possible humble beginning as goat energy snack food, to becoming the 2nd largest tradable commodity in the world. Millions of tons of coffee are produced every year, and there is no doubt that the industry will continue to grow by leaps and bounds.

Jim Konerko is the publisher of coffee-craze.net coffee-craze.net where he provides fascinating articles such as “ coffee-craze.net/how_to_buy_coffee.php How To Buy Coffee”, and other advice, tips, and information about coffee.

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