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The History of Coffee, Who Invented Coffee?


Who Invented Of Coffee? Coffee is the second most popular beverage in the world, second only to water. In the U.S. alone, more than 450 million cups of coffee are consumed per day but the top spot for coffee lovers in the world goes t Finland, where each person consumes an average of 12 kilograms of coffee beans per year, according to the International Coffee Organization.

In fact, coffee is of such importance in human lives that it’s even included in most military rations. But where did our love for this energy-boosting java juice come from? And how exactly did it spread across the globe?

History of Coffee

Where do coffee beans come from? The story of the birth of coffee is unclear and unverified but it seems to narrow down to two origin stories. On takes, place in Ethiopia and the other takes us to Yemen. Let’s go to Africa first.

Legend says that around 850 AD in the region of Kaffa, Ethiopia, a young goatherd called Kaldi noticed that when his goats ate a small red berry they became highly active. Intrigued, Kaldi plucked some berries for himself and noticed that he too felt energized after eating them.

He wanted to share the effects of these magic berries, so he took a few to a nearby monastery but the head monk, intimidated by their strange influence, rejected them and threw them into a fire.

The result was a hypnotizing aroma that captivated the monk. So after the fire was stoked they picked up the roasted coffee beans that were left among the embers, ground them and produced the first-ever cup of coffee.

Now to the other origin story. Legend says that in ancient Yemen there was a man called Sheikh Omar who was famous for his healing powers. For reasons unknown, Omar was banished from his community to a cave in the desert. Hungry and desperate Omar ate the red berries from a nearby bush but was taken aback by their bitter flavor.

Keen on making the most out of his meager meal, Omar roasted the beans, ground them up and boiled them with water, producing an energizing liquid that sustained him for days.

When his community learned of his magical concoction he was invited to return. Now both of these accounts make for good stories, but we can’t know for sure if that’s how he first cup of Joe actually came to be, but it seems, according to historical evidence, that the crown for the first cup of coffee goes to both Yemen and Ethiopia.

The plant itself is native to Ethiopia, while the first real evidence we have of its roasting and brewing as we consume coffee nowadays comes from Yemen.

See, early records show that during the 15th-century coffee was consumed among Muslim communities around Yemen, specifically the Sufis, because it helped them stay up for long religious ceremonies. The coffee they consumed was brought by merchants from Ethiopia.

The Start Of The Coffee Trade

During the 1600s the beverage quickly began spreading to Europe. The Netherlands was the first country to open coffee plantations in Sri Lanka in the early 1600s.

The Dutch East India Company began importing coffee from then Java and Ceylon in 1711. Pretty soon other European countries followed suit. In the 1700s the French took it to the Caribbean at the same time as the Portuguese introduced it in Brazil.

In the Late 19th century, the Spanish had taken it to Central and South America. It’s no wonder that coffees from these regions are nowadays considered to be among the best in the world

But aren’t all coffee beans the same? Not quite.

Varieties of Coffee

There are many types of coffee beans but the ones that are most common are Arabica, Robusta, Liberica, and Excelsa. They all grow in what is known as The Coffee Bean Belt, a region located between the tropics of Capricorn and Cancer that have the ideal climate and temperature for coffee to thrive.

According to the International Coffee Organization, 20 billion pounds of coffee is produced in the Bean Belt per year. The most common type of coffee bean is the Arabica.

Historians believe it was the first type of coffee to be cultivated as it comes from the Ethiopian highlands. Nowadays, 60 percent of the coffee consumed around the world is Arabica.

It’s mostly grown in Latin America and it’s known for its sweet, fruity and slightly acidic taste. However, it takes Arabica coffee plants 7 years to fully mature and be ready for harvest, making it pricier than its other bean brothers.

The second most common type of coffee bean is Robusta. This is the one you’ll probably see in supermarkets and your neighborhood grocery store. They’re grown in Africa and Indonesia and it’s fairly common due to its high caffeine concentration, making it perfect for espressos and an energizing cup of Joe.

But that also makes coffee from Robusta beans more bitter in taste. Liberica and Excelsa beans are grown in certain parts of Southeast Asia and therefore make up a really small percentage of the coffee consumed in the world; This also makes them pricier than Robusta and Arabica beans.

Currently, Brazil is the world’s largest coffee exporter, pumping out 45 million bags per year of mainly Arabica beans. Coffee really stuck in Europe. The wine and beer people would customarily have for breakfast were slowly replaced by Jitter Juice. But although coffee has become the West’s favorite energy booster, people forget it was once considered the devil’s drink.

Because of coffee’s Islamic origins, it was shunned by Christians in the West. They were suspicious of its effects and considered it a pagan drink. It wasn’t until 700 years after its discovery, when the drink began to pick up in popularity, that the issue was brought up to then Pope Clement VIII.

Catholic devouts were hoping their leader would denounce the drink immediately but, to their surprise, the Pope took a “don’t knock it until you try it” approach and decided to take a sip before completely banning the so-called devil’s drink.

His verdict?

Coffee was here to stay. But to convince his followers that coffee would not make it easier for a demon to possess them, the Pope actually baptized coffee beans in order to officially pronounce them Satan-free. And since, it’s been a coffee free for all in the West. The first coffee houses in the world appeared during the 15th Century in the Arabian Peninsula and they were called “qahveh khaneh”.

Coffee houses were a place where people would gather to play games, listen to music or even have heated political debates. At the same time, as coffee grew in popularity among Europeans during the 1600s, so did the appearance of coffee houses there.

But unlike taverns or bars which were the place where men would gather to discuss politics and daily conundrums, coffee houses were considered a space for intellectuals.

In Britain, coffee houses were called “penny universities” because for a penny you could get a cup of coffee and engage in cerebral conversations with businessmen and scholars fraternizing at the shop.

But early coffee houses weren’t open to everyone. The British and French banned women from entering their premises, only the Germans saw no problem with ladies and gentlemen taking part in discussions together.

But it wasn’t just about intellectual conversations, many people at the time believed that coffee was a very potent remedy for, well, everything apparently. Take a look at this coffee ad from 1652. It claims coffee can treat “headaches, the cough of the lungs, dropsy, gout, and scurvy.”

Oh, and apparently it also helped “prevent miscarriages in childbearing women.” Some beverages this was. By the 18th Century, coffee had become THE drink in every country it had been introduced to but people still couldn’t get enough of the drink.

The inventor of Instant Coffee

In 1901, a Japanese-American chemist called Satori Kato created the first version of instant coffee, he even patented his invention in 1903 but his creation didn’t really catch on. The mass production of instant coffee is attributed to George Washington, a Belgian inventor who owned production facilities in Brooklyn, New York.

Satori Kato

His product was called “Red E Coffee.” Instant coffee played a starring role right at the end of the First World War. In 1918, the U.S. military was buying 37,000 pounds of coffee per day. And on occasions where soldiers had no access to water, they would just pour the instant coffee packet into their mouths and munch on the caffeine powder for energy.

Americano coffee was born in the Second World War when Americans stationed in Italy became homesick for the way they had their cup of Joe. See, Italians had two ways of consuming java at the time, espresso or cappuccino.

Both of these options were too thick and bitter for American GIs, who were used to drip coffee. So Italian coffee shops, in solidarity with the coffee thirsty Americans, began selling their espressos with a cup of hot water for them to dilute the espresso shot. Eventually, they began mixing water with the espresso for the G.I.s and began calling the drink an Americano.

Coffee Industry

Today, coffee continues to reign supreme. The global coffee industry earns an estimated $60 billion annually and Starbucks alone has 29,865 shops quenching the coffee-thirst of 78 markets around the world.

No matter where we are from, we can all agree that a good cup of coffee can make our day. And you? How do you like your coffee? Check this out –

Shocking About Coffee You Probably Didn’t Know

Coffee boosts brain

Coffee with sugar can turn you into a little genius for a while because of the combination of caffeine and glucose. Activates certain sectors of your brain the caffeine and coffee act as a mild stimulant to the central nervous system.

This neuronal activity triggers the release of the adrenaline that will affect your body in several ways. Your heartbeat increases, blood pressure rises breathing tubes open up, sugar is released into the bloodstream for extra energy.

Depending on the level of intake it can help improve attention and concentration. Remember that slump right after lunch? If you wish your boss would announce a little siesta time? Well, if you are not in Spain caffeine can improve wakefulness during the post-lunch dip. We know that the working hours may be tough sometimes.

Coffee is effective in boosting brain performance for those suffering from jet lag or shift work sleep disorder. However never drink coffee on an empty stomach, since that will do the direct opposite. Effects of caffeine tend to be less pronounced in regular coffee drinkers

Coffee increases blood pressure

You might want to keep off the coffee if you are going to have a blood pressure test within the next two days. If you have high blood pressure ask your doctor whether you should limit or stop drinking caffeinated beverages. On the other hand hypertension or low blood pressure can be a serious and life-threatening problem

If not treated a tiny cup of coffee can battle a hypertensive episode, a situation where your blood pressure is too low. Add a cup of caffeinated beverage to each meal to raise your blood pressure

Coffee makes your immune system stronger

Coffee is known for its energy-boosting caffeine effect. It’s an abundant source of nutrients and helpful chemicals that can aid your immune system.

According to scientists from several countries, coffee reduces the risk of premature death. This is because coffee alters your immune system making it stronger and healthier.

Coffee contains a lot of antioxidants and phenolic compounds that play a crucial role in cancer prevention. it also improves your liver, heart, and digestive system

Still trying to stick to natural freshly ground coffee instant coffee contains fewer nutrients and more chemical additives and one more important fact for Parkinson’s disease. Research suggests that among other factors the potential preventive effect may be due to caffeine too

Coffee relieves a headache.

The caffeine can cure headaches and migraines. People are aware that caffeine is found in coffee, tea, soft drinks, and chocolate. But may not know that caffeine is also contained in a variety of over-the-counter medications.

That’s why it’s an ingredient in a lot of traditional pain relievers. It can make them as much as 40 percent more effective. Caffeine increases the strength of the medication, and how quickly it works. So enjoy the stimulating and pain-relieving properties of caffeine in moderation.

Coffee reduces stress

Coffee acts well as an anti-stress substance due to the release of dopamine and serotonin which triggers a good mood. One cup or even just the smell of coffee can calm your nerves. This could explain the lower risk of depression among coffee drinkers.

Drinking between two to four cups of coffee every day appears to reduce the risk of suicide in men and women by 50%.

Moreover, caffeine is one of the most common stimulators of the central nervous system, and its common stimulation is what keeps depression at bay interestingly only the caffeine contained in coffee has this effect as opposed to the caffeine found in tea soda or chocolate which does not stimulate the central nervous system as effectively

Coffee improves your memory

Coffee can positively affect mood enhance awareness and memory abilities. The stimulators and neuro mediators obtained from coffee not only boost your mood and productivity. But also improve your memory. Of course, this only works with your short-term memory but this is good enough because of all.

Information is initially stored in short-term memory and only an hour later does it enter our long-term memory under particular circumstances. At times when it gets a little too difficult to focus a coffee break will offer a welcome change of mind by enhancing.

Concentration and stimulating moods. All in all, coffee is an enjoyable drink that can help boost energy and increase the ability to learn and remember

Coffee helps you lose weight.

Coffee can keep off and help you lose excess weight. It can temporarily suppress your appetite and may stimulate minimal calorie burning. When the level of the hormone leptin is low, your body starts storing fat, and you gain weight. Coffee, however, increases the hormone levels in your body.

Now you know why coffee lovers take longer to gain weight and why exercise yields more results for them caffeine gives you an added boost at work or during exercise.

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