So I started thinking about the Origins of Coffee and how it came to be. For any coffee enthusiasts out there, this post is sure to capture your interest.
The Early Days of Coffee
If we travel way back in time to sometime around 1000 AD, you’ll learn that coffee was used by the Ethiopians as an energy enhancer. They actually ground up coffee beans and would mix it with animal fat and then consume it. Supposedly this was a great boost of energy for those working hard labor throughout the day.
The story goes that a goat herder named Kaldi discovered this by taking note of his goats after they’d been chewing on the berries from the coffee bushes that grew wild where he lived. After seeing how the effected his goats, Kaldi decided to try them for himself and was shocked at the potent dose of energy he received. This became the first documented case of someone gaining benefits from a shot of caffeine. Of course the news of these magic beans spread rapidly and fast formed a new habit among the locals.
When was Coffee first Imported
Jumping forward to 1453, the Ottoman Turks were the first to import coffee. It was imported into Constantinople and allowed the start of the world’s first coffee shop, Kiva Han. Kiva Han opened it’s doors in 1475.
As the sixteenth century rolled around, coffee drinking had fast spread all throughout Asia and coffee houses were common place. Of course they were big hits among people who liked to “hang out”, and as you can imagine, these places were as popular as the local tavern, anyone who was anybody was at the coffee house.
Coffee Comes to America
Well, Americans were a little late in receiving their dose of caffeine. It wasn’t until 1607 that the first cup of coffee was drank in America. Captain John Smith, one of the founders of the great state of Virginia, was the one to introduce it to America. You all remember from the history books about the Boston Tea Party in 1773. Well after this huge event, coffee drinking was a patriotic duty. This was a ploy to decrease the interest in Boston Tea and cause it’s market to crumble.
Good Ole Maxwell House
Founded in 1886, Maxwell House coffee was named after the Maxwell House Hotel in Nashville. Unfortunately this hotel burned to the ground in 1961.
Then in 1901 the first instant coffee was produced by a chemist named Satori Kato.
We Can’t Leave out Decaffeinated Coffee
Germany and France were actually the first to enjoy a cup of decaffeinated coffee. It was a familiar brand called Sanka and was kind of a product of mad science experiments done on a bad batch of coffee beans. And here’s a big name for you, Kraft Food Company… They actually introduced Sanka Coffee to the United States in 1923.
The First Freeze Dried Coffee
Nescafe was the first to bring in the freeze dried coffee, but it wasn’t in the United States, it was in Switzerland 1923. They named it Blend 37 as it was named after Didier Cambreson. Cambreson had completed the entire 24 hours of the Le Mans race in 1937 all by himself. This was after his co-driver gave him the shaft and didn’t show up for the race. His car number was 37 and the story goes that he completed this marvelous feat while drinking the new Nescafe brand of coffee…lol
Grand Ole Starbucks
We can’t do a write up on Coffee and not include the great Starbucks. Personally I can’t see paying $5 a cup for coffee, but there are many die hard fans out there.
Starbucks first opened in 1971 in Seattle, it was in a place called Pike Place Market, it was named after the first mate in the story Moby Dick. Starbucks was actually started by an English teacher by the name of Jerry Baldwin. Co-founders included a history teacher named Zev Siegel and a writer Gordon Bowker.
It wasn’t until 1992 that the company went public and by that time they already had a staggering 165 coffee houses, by 2005 that number totaled more than 11,000 stores worldwide!
I know this is kind of a long history lesson on Coffee, but it’s a drink that is adored world wide and a personal favorite of mine. There’s nothing like getting up early and sitting down at the computer terminal with a steaming hot cup of coffee and dual monitors. It’s one of my favorite times of the day, checking up on the mornings online happenings and sipping my favorite brand.
Know anymore interesting information about coffee or do you enjoy an unusual brand or flavor? Please share with us in the comments below.