The Chronology of Coffee: A Complete Synopsis
Posted by on Jan 6th 2017
Sometimes it can be fun to imagine how things were discovered. Take coffee, for example.
Picture an ancient desert, if you will. Imagine a vast landscape of dusty, rocky land, barren and beautiful despite being intimidating in scope and an apparent lack of life. Now imagine that you are looking out, as far as the eye can see, and the entire landscape is stretched out in front of you. Somewhere, in the midst of all that emptiness, is a lone traveler.
Now, this traveler isn’t aware of it, but they will soon discover a world-changing ingredient and natural product.
After a long and weary journey, the traveler is nearing the end of their ability to continue on. They can barely move their legs, their lips are parched, and their eyes threaten to collapse closed if even a moment of diligence is ignored.
Suddenly, an oasis appears in front of the traveler. As they slowly get closer, the oasis becomes clearer to see and a strange, unfamiliar form is revealed. At the heart of the oasis, a lone figure stands behind a waist-high countertop. This person dons an apron and has long, scraggly hair tied back to keep the locks out of their face. They greet the traveler with a lukewarm smile, saying, “How can I help you?”
The traveler in this ancient setting is comforted by the question. With a long journey behind them, and an even longer one ahead, it is satisfying to suddenly discover an ally offering their help.
Without knowing where the words come from, the traveler speaks, making a solemn and serious request.
“I’ll take a large mocha with soy.No whipped cream, please.”
Rest assured, this is not how coffee was discovered in the real world. This is just a very similar journey to the one that every coffee lover endures, each and every morning.
Coffee is a staple of modern life worldwide, and the story of how that came to be is actually no less amazing than the one we just told. But, it’s taken hundreds of years for coffee to become what it is today, so let’s take a look at the short version (for now) of coffee’s biography:
- The Discovery of Coffee
The real story isn’t quite as biblical-sounding as the one we just made up, but the discovery of coffee’s caffeinated effects can be traced back to Ethiopia.
As the story goes, a goat herder named Kaldi noticed that, after eating the red berries from a coffee tree, his goats were so full of energy that they were unable to sleep. Trying the berries for himself, Kaldi experienced the energy boost himself, and brought the beans to a monastery for guidance.
At first, the religious leaders denounced the substance for its stimulating effects, but when they tried to destroy it in a fire, the aroma was strong enough to convince them to try drinking the berries like tea.
- Coffee Spreads Around the Globe
Coffee as a beverage steadily grew in popularity over the coming centuries. Coffee was being grown and cultivated on the Arabian Peninsula by the 15th century, and not only were people consuming it at home, but the substance became the focal point of social, cultural, and intellectual exchanges everywhere.
Coffee houses began to appear in cities, and these were places where all kinds of ideas and creations were exchanged. Music, art, culture, and news were traded and absorbed in the coffee houses, setting a precedent that has lasted into the modern age.
- Coffee Becomes a Revolution
Coffee could be considered the inspiration for revolution, at least in the United States. Most Americans are pretty familiar with the Boston Tea Party, but not everybody might realize that this event signaled a significant cultural and economic shift in the relationship between the North American colonies and Britain.
While coffee had become more and more popular worldwide, residents of the American colonies still deferred to the British norm of drinking tea. Once Boston residents rejected the steeped beverage, and the taxes that came with it, however, it was only a matter of time before America would fully accept coffee as their chosen alternative to tea.
Obviously, this is a pretty brief summary of a huge story: The story ofcoffee’s development as a resource and consumer good. Think of this as just an introduction… we’re going to revisit The Chronology of Coffee now and then, focusing on significant time periods and milestone’s in coffee’s progression.
So check back into our blog if you want more information and thoughts about coffee, and if you’re ready to taste the beverage at the peak of its development and quality, order a bag of our premium Ka’u coffee beans online!