A History of the Coffee Bean

Most of us, especially those of you on this site, drink coffee on a regular basis. We wake up, pour ourselves a nice hot cup of steaming Joe and savour the wonderful taste as it rushes past our lips and into our stomachs, instantly sending that sweet rush of caffeine pulsating through our veins. However lets take the next few minutes in going back a few thousand years and finding out where our dear old friend came from. So here it is, the history of the famous coffee bean.

History tells us that the spread of coffee began in the mighty Horn of Africa, rumored to be in what we know today as Ethiopia, from there it travelled to Yemen and Arabia. The Arabs of the 15th century realized the importance of this mighty little Bean that they even went as far as to impose a ban on the exportation of it, in an attempt to prevent its cultivation elsewhere. However as we know, nothing can stop someone getting their hands on a good cup of coffee and the Dutch managed to get their hands on some coffee plants by the year 1616.

The First Coffee Shop was rumoured to have opened in Mecca, in a way much like the Coffee Shops of today people would gather in them, drink coffee, exchange political ideas and just have a good old time.

However it was the dutch who we really need to thank for the booming coffee industry we have today. They not only took Coffee plants to their colonies in India and Indonesia in the 1600’s, but then in the 1700’s they bought coffee to South America. Coffee production in South America exploded with Brazil and Colombia exporting hundreds of thousands of bags worldwide and stamping their authority on the world coffee market.

Today coffee plays a major role in the world and not just because it gets billions of people out of bed each and every morning. It is one of the most valuable products traded worldwide and at its peak its value as a source of foreign exchange to producing countries is second only to oil.

However the spread of coffee and the appreciation of this majestic bean has made sure that no matter where in the world one might find themselves, you can always find a good cup of coffee and that’s the best thing isn’t it.



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