How was coffee discovered, featured image

How Coffee Was Discovered


Here’s how coffee was discovered and how it came about:

There are many legends about how coffee was discovered, but no one knows for sure.

One of the most popular theories is that coffee was first discovered in Ethiopia, Africa.

Ethiopian monks were known for their practice of consuming coffee as early as 537 AD (around 500 years before Christ).

The ancient people who lived in Africa used to drink coffee way before modern times.

But it wasn’t until the 1600s that people actually began drinking coffee in its current form.

In this article, I’ll cover important topics related to coffee’s discovery including a short history lesson, the myths surrounding it, how it was actually discovered and how it came to America and Europe.

 

A Short History of Coffee

The history of coffee can be traced back to the ancient civilizations in Ethiopia, Yemen, and Arabia.

The first mention of coffee in the world was in 1511. The beverage was actually known as kaffee or kafe and was used as an antidote to help treat certain diseases.

However, the beverage we know today as coffee only came into being during the 1700s when the beverage became common practice throughout Europe.

Coffee eventually also found its way to the Americas and the Caribbean by the 1700s.

One of the first recorded references to the use of coffee dates back to the 16th century.

At that time, coffee was a bitter substance that was used as an antidote against certain diseases.

During the 1700s, the beverage became very popular. In the 1820s, the first coffee house opened in England.

These places were also called Kaffee-Hausen (in German) or simply Coffee Houses.

In the late 1800s, people started drinking coffee and liking the taste. During the 1800s, coffee houses started becoming more and more popular.

During this period coffee houses also started popping up across the US as the popularity of coffee continued to grow.

 

How was coffee discovered, a boy roasting coffee beans on a metal plate
An Ethiopian boy roasting coffee beans outside.

 

The Myth of Coffee’s Discovery

As it turns out, there’s a lot of mythology surrounding the discovery of coffee. Some believe that a man named Kaldi came across coffee beans in a tree in Ethiopia.

Others claim that a caravan of Arabian merchants discovered the secret to making a beverage out of them, and eventually brought it back to their home country of Yemen.

But the most common theory is that the beans weren’t first discovered in Yemen, but in Ethiopia.

The Ethiopians had been using coffee berries to brew a drink called qat, which was a stimulant.

Some accounts say that the Ethiopians eventually brought their new drink to Yemen and it became known as coffee.

And it was then introduced into the Middle East by the Arabs.

 

How Coffee Actually Came to Be Discovered

There are many legends about how coffee was discovered.

But it’s typically believed that coffee was first discovered in Eastern Africa and more specifically Ethiopia.

At first, the drink was only made from the leaves of the Coffea arabica tree and it was originally called kahwa by the natives of Ethiopia (a.k.a. qahwah in Yemen).

Ethiopian monks were known for their practice of consuming coffee as early as 537 AD, when they are recorded to have discovered coffee beans being ground in the local area.

Although this is the earliest evidence of the drink, the drink may have existed prior to this discovery, but it was never documented.

But it wasn’t until the 1500s, when European settlers arrived in the area, that the drink became a common staple.

 

How was coffee discovered, coffee beans from Ethiopia on sale

 

How Coffee Came to America

Coffee came to America and the United States with the English.

They brought coffee seeds, beans and recipes from their home country to this new world.

The first coffee plant that grew in America was planted in 1636 in what is now the Bronx in New York City.

By 1675 there were two coffee plantations in Massachusetts, in Salem and Boston.

The coffee business in America started in 1650 when William Blackstone imported a shipment of coffee beans to Massachusetts. He planted the coffee seeds, and they started growing in the fields.

A few years later, the first coffee plantation opened in Salem. It was owned by John Hathorne, a judge who would later be accused of witchcraft.

His plantation was known as the Hathorne Plantation. A few years later, the plantation was moved to Boston.

In 1760, Thomas Chase opened the Boston Coffeehouse. It was the first coffeehouse in America.

The first coffeehouse in the United States opened in 1768. It was called the Boston Coffeehouse.

Long story short – coffee then quickly became very popular in America.

 

How Coffee Came to Europe

The first Europeans discovered coffee in 1513 when they found it in Ethiopia.

They thought it was a new kind of tree that grew on trees.

Then in 1565, Pedro Cortes and Hernando de Soto arrived in what is now the state of Veracruz in Mexico, bringing coffee with them.

They took the seeds home with them to Spain and planted them.

From there, the seedlings were sent back to Portugal, France, Italy, Germany, Austria, England, and eventually the rest of the world.

 

Who First Started Drinking Coffee?

Legend says that the first person to drink coffee in its current form was a man named Kaldi, although the people in Ethiopia have been drinking coffee for thousands of years.

The Ethiopian people have used the caffeine-rich seeds of the Coffea plant to treat a wide variety of ailments, from toothaches to headaches and stomach aches.

However, it’s thought that Kaldi was the person who started drinking coffee as we know it today.

He made coffee by roasting the beans over an open fire.

The coffee beans were ground into a powder. Then, the powder was placed in a pot and boiled.

The boiled water was filtered through a filter and then poured into a cup. To this day, the Turkish people drink coffee this way.

 

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, coffee is a fruit from the coffee shrub, which originated in Africa and spread into Arabia, Turkey, and Persia.

It was then brought to the rest of the world by traders, including Spanish conquistadors who brought coffee back to Europe and Asia.

It’s hard to imagine that this seemingly mundane story could hold so much intrigue, but that’s the fascinating story of coffee.

A few centuries after Europeans started consuming coffee, this caffeinated plant is as popular as ever.

Over to you now – do you know any legends regarding the history and discovery of coffee?

Let us know by dropping a comment below.

 

References:

  1. https://www.ncausa.org/about-coffee/history-of-coffee
  2. https://www.thespruceeats.com/the-origin-of-coffee-765180
  3. https://www.britannica.com/topic/history-of-coffee
  4. https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/who-invented-coffee.html
  5. https://www.pbs.org/food/the-history-kitchen/history-coffee/

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