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History of Coffee - The Legend Behind the Brew

The history of coffee is not 100% clear. Although we do know that its origins go as far back as the 15th century, the exact location and dates of this highly popular beverage have been lost over the years. However, it is thought that those who originally discovered the benefits of the coffee bean plant were those of Ethiopian descent. Once discovered in this particular area of Africa, coffee was thought to extend to the countries of Egypt and Yemen. Evidence for coffee's appearance in these geographical regions is well-documented and, it is known that in Arabia, coffee beans were originally roasted and brewed, acting as the foundation of the type of coffee that we drink in today's modern culture.

Beyond the early history of coffee, these rich brown beans made their way to the various countries of Europe. Originally introduced to Italy through the trades between Venice and Muslims in Africa, the beverage started gaining popularity among the wealthiest of Venetians as it was priced far beyond what the majority of the population could afford. Around the 16th century, coffee made its way to England and, with it, came the invention of coffee houses. From here, coffee's popularity extended through most all other European countries, where it still remains a main drink of choice today.

In the early 1700's, the history of coffee continued as the coffee plant was introduced to the Americas. However, interestingly enough, its introduction was said to come in the form of seedlings that were planted and then grew into trees years later. The Central American countries which housed these trees subsequently became the top producer of coffee in the world. From here, coffee's widespread popularity began to take hold. Sure enough, more and more countries began importing the beans and drinking coffee on a more regular basis.

Although once reserved only for special occasions and for the wealthy, much has changed since the initial days of coffee's popularity. Whereas roasting and brewing the beans was once quite labor-intensive, the process was perfected over the years, resulting in a more instant-type coffee. This modern-day convenience made the drink a daily staple in virtually every American home and laid the ground work for the plethora of coffee houses, both corporate and independent, that line the streets of every city. However, in addition to the increased popularity of coffee shops, many people are now also choosing to brew gourmet coffee at home in many different flavors. These deliciously affordable options are a far cry from the early history of coffee.

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