The History of Coffee

Did you know that the very first coffee shop opened in 1475 in Constantinople, Turkey? People went to the coffee house to socialize, play games, listen to music, and of course, drink lots of coffee. But, hundreds of years before the earliest coffee shop opened, coffee had already become a coveted commodity around the world.

According to legend, coffee was first discovered by an Ethiopian shepherd named Khaldi. He noticed that his goats became very active after eating the red coffee berries from a bush. Khaldi told the monks at a nearby monastery about what he had seen with the goats. The monks then began to cook the berries in an effort to stay awake during long hours of prayer. The first coffee beans, as legend would have it, were cultivated in Ethiopia, and soon after, the Arabs started cultivating it.

The Arabs called their coffee drink, gahwa, which means to prevent sleep. They made their drink by roasting and boiling the beans. It became so popular they designated it as a “wine” that was the ceremonial drink of many rituals.

Around twelve hundred AD, someone discovered how to make a darker drink out of the coffee beans. After that, it wasn’t long before everyone was drinking coffee. Coffee made its way to India, North Africa, and the eastern Mediterranean. The Arabs however, closely guarded their coffee beans and went so far as to kill the seed germ of their coffee to make sure no one else could grow the coffee if it was taken to other countries. The main source of coffee stayed here for many years before eventually being smuggled out by travelers and pilgrims.

By the early sixteen hundreds coffee had entered Europe, Spain and North Africa, and by the seventeen hundreds coffee had been introduced in America.

By the 20th Century efforts were made to find new methods to brew coffee. It was during this century that the first espresso machine was developed in Italy. The first coffee filter was invented using blotting paper, and the Nestle Company invented Nescafe instant coffee. The Hills Brothers began packing roasted coffee in vacuum sealed tins, and this led to the end of local roasting shops and coffee mills, at least for now.

We have many different styles, flavors and grinds of coffee. Coffee continues to be the most popular beverage in the world, with no signs of decreasing consumption. Research has even found health benefits to drinking delicious coffee. So go ahead, drink and enjoy!

(If you are an pro athlete its not recommended to drink coffee, it can be illegal in the future.)

Check out some old coffee accessories.