Top 10 Historical Coffee Facts

There are countless coffee drinkers across the world. But have you ever considered the history of coffee? The drink is centuries old and there are variations of the first story told about coffee’s origins. There have been controversies surrounding coffee and there have been reasons that coffee was banned for some time. However, there is no debating that coffee has a grip on our culture as well as many others. As you learn about coffee and its history, think about the way coffee has shifted opinions and consider how coffee is perceived today.

1. Kaldi

There are a few variations of this story beginning the history of coffee. However, there is no doubt that coffee has Ethiopian origins, however. There is also no doubting that the man behind the discovery of coffee is Kaldi. One legend states that Kaldi came upon some of his goats that were dancing. Of course, this visual was not normal! With further inspection, Kaldi saw that the dancing goats had been consuming little red berries.

These little red berries are now called coffee cherries. Inside coffee cherries are white coffee beans. This is what we see before they are roasted, in modern times, and brewed as our normal cup of coffee. He saw that these berries gave his goats energy. Some legends say that the coffee beans were gladly accepted by a monk for its alert-benefits, while another says that they were thrown into a fire and created a delicious aroma. The history of coffee already shows that the opinion of the drink would come from both sides.

2.  Satan’s Drink

Coffee made its way to Europe in the 17th century. This drink was far darker than people were used to at that time. When it made its way to Venice, it had sparked up some controversy. The drink was known for its energizing effects. This is what gave the drink its description of being the liquid version of Satan. Who knew that the Pope would play such a large part in the history of coffee?
Pope Clementine VIII was asked to intervene. For this reason, the Pope had to make a decision on whether this drink was as bad as some were saying. The history of coffee, at this point, received papal approval. The Pope liked it!

3. Office Life

Way back when, wine and beer were the chosen drinks for the morning. People would begin their days with alcoholic drinks. That is, until, coffee comes into the picture. We are sure you can imagine why! With coffee’s energizing qualities, people found that drinking coffee was more production-increasing than the other two drinks. The history of coffee takes a modern turn in the 16th century, when coffee would forever place the former two alcoholic choices for morning beverages.

4. Expansion

Arabia, at one point, held the only coffee plants. This wasn’t to last for too long, as the desire for coffee grew increasingly. This led to many going after the coffee rush, attempting to bring coffee out of Arabia. It wasn’t until the second half of the 1600s that coffee made its way out. The Dutch had brought coffee plants in Sumatra and Celebes. The history of coffee does have a home in the Americas as well. King Louis XIV received a coffee plant as a gift before a seedling was taken and brought to Martinique. This has led to  over 18 million coffee trees. Imagine all that coffee!

5. Banning

The history of coffee is not without its struggles. We know that there was some hesitation to have coffee as a drink in the 17th century when it reached Venice. There are some legends that state that Kaldi had to get rid of the coffee beans because of its stimulating properties. In the 16th century, Mecca had banned coffee because of its stimulant properties. In Constantinople, there were tiers of punishment for the drink. This included a beating for the first offense, and a drowning for the second offense. Most recently was in 1777, when Prussia’s leader sought to bring beer back to the top, rather than coffee.

Did any of these historical coffee facts change the way you think about the history of coffee? Are you shocked by the way coffee has been regarded throughout history? Are you surprised by any of the times coffee has been banned or how it expanded globally? There is no doubt that coffee is still as prevalent in our culture as it was back then, if not more so. Does knowing the history of coffee increase your enjoyment of it? We’d like to think knowing its history has given us a greater enjoyment of this ancient drink.

Thirsty for more? Why not check out our favorite coffee recipes, located here.