Coffeehouse in London in the 17th Century. Author: Unknown
A BRIEF HISTORY OF COFFEE
According to ancient Ethiopian history, coffee was discovered in Abyssenia (now known as Ethiopia). Legend tells us that a goatherder named Kaldicame upon a mysterious tree, he noticed his goats were energised and couldn’t sleep at night after eating its berries. Kaldi decided to try these berries for himself and they made his body and mind feel invigorated like never before. The goatherder travelled to a monastery near Lake Tana, where he presented these berries to the monks. Instead of trying the berries, the monks cast them into the fire…where the now roasted berries gave off the most delicious aroma. The monks crushed the berries and poured them into a cup of boiling water, and the first cup of coffee was born!
From Ethiopia, the love of coffee spread like wildfire. The first Coffeehouses appeared in Mecca in the 15th century, then extended to the Ottoman Empire in 16th century and later in Europe in the 17th Century. They became places where peoplemet to drink coffee, play board games and discuss current affairs and politics.
In the late 17th Century, the Dutch tried to cultivate coffee and failed (because of the unsuitable weather in The Netherlands) and therefore took it to Indonesia where it became a staple.
In the early 18th century the Dutch gifted a coffee plant to Louis XIV, king of France. Gabriel Mathieu de Clieu, captain of the French navy, took the beans to Martinique (as he was stationed there). We don’t know if he stole some clippings from the King’s tree or if Louis XIV ordered de Clieu to establish a coffee plantation in Martinique.
Now, centuries later, coffee-lovers still scour the globe to find the perfect cup of coffee and that’s where we come in. Our mission is to bring you the wonders of coffees from all over the world.