History of Coffee

From ancient farms to today's national franchises and all across the globe, coffee's thousand year history has been an incredible voyage...

Ethiopian grown coffee

Ethiopian grown coffee

Starbucks coffeehouse

Starbucks coffeehouse

Coffee legend states that around 850 CE, an Ethiopian shepherd named Kaldi found his goats danced merrily after eating the red berries of a green leafy shrub. Kaldi tried the cheeries, learned of their strong stimulating effect and the coffee craze began.

Whether or not the legend is true, evidence shows that the coffee bean originated on the plateaus of central Ethiopia. Beans were later brought to Yemen, where the first coffee trees were cultivated in 1100 CE.

The first coffee shop opened in Constantinople in 1475, followed by coffee houses in Mecca and Cairo in 1554. Coffee entered the European scene through Venice, Italy in 1600.

The beloved beverage made its way to North America through Captain John Smith and his journey to the New World in 1607.

Skipping ahead to another highlight, the first Starbucks opened in Seattle, Washington in the 1970s. Founded by a history teacher, an English teacher and a writer, Starbucks was named after Captain Ahabís first mate in the novel Moby Dick. Starbucks is now the largest coffeehouse company in the world.

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Copyright © 2008 Kelsi Krieger

Please e-mail me with any questions or feedback at kak830@ufl.edu!