What is your first action after waking up in the morning? Perhaps you make your bed and lie back to read a newspaper, or maybe you frantically gather your books and rush because you are always late for school or work. You may or may not have time for a proper breakfast, so you either grab a snack or go without it. However, for many people, drinking coffee is a mandatory morning ritual. For them, whether it is early morning or late afternoon, a cup of coffee from a grind and brew coffee maker that sits on their bedside is the only refreshing way of starting the day.
If you do it for a long time, going a day without coffee can feel similar to living without a vital limb. Some people claim it is an addiction, and some insist that it boosts their productivity. While both of these statements are common knowledge, few people are aware of coffee’s exciting journey across the world.
Origins of Coffee
There are many legends and stories about coffee discovery, but the most widely accepted view is that coffee dates back to the fifteenth century. The coffee plants originated in African forests, where a shepherd, called Kaldi, first encountered this strange substance. While walking his goats in the pastureland one day, he was surprised to observe that they were acting differently. Dancing energetically in the fields, the goats looked happier. Kaldi found some oval coffee beans that goats consumed and showed them to the local monastery. Some stories say that the priest was infuriated and burned the beans as they seemed dangerous to him, and some say he treated them as a magic fruit for productivity.
Either way, the spicy aroma and bitter-sweet taste of coffee soon became popular in African markets. Shortly afterward, traders took the beans to Middle Eastern countries like Yemen, where people enthusiastically planted them and called them “mocha.” The neighboring countries like Saudia Arabia and Oman were also intrigued by this mentally stimulating substance, and the plantations grew. Since Mecca, Saudia Arabia, was the center for Muslims worldwide, some took coffee beans back to India. The magical beans elicited different responses from the Indians, and soon, coffee became a valuable commodity all across Asia.
Coffee in the Western World
The earliest traces of coffee in the Western countries date back to 1570 when Pope Clement of Venice thought it was a dangerous drug. However, people soon began to grind and brew coffee, several regarding it as a good Christian drink. It would help them perform their religious duties more actively, have ample energy for manual labor, and sleep soundly at night. Thus, it became a popular drink with the Europeans.
Coffee’s entry into American life was a revolutionary event because it began with the taxes the English levied on their tea exports. Discouraged by the tariffs, Americans turned towards an exciting substitute-coffee. Consequently, the Brazillian coffee plantations flourished, and several companies used different coffee beans to produce various drinks. Currently, studies rank coffee as the second most consumed and traded commodity today!