The Story behind Your Caffeine Rush

History of Coffee, coffee slavery history

Coffee, one of the world's most famous beverages, has evolved into a global phenomenon. Be it the usual morning dose or the in-between fillers during the day, we all have our regular and particular caffeine intake. During this journey of making coffee our routine, have we ever wondered about the history of Coffee- who discovered Coffee and the history of coffee slavery? Here are some coffee history facts to boost your love for this beverage.

History of Coffee

This popular bean was first found in Ethiopia, after which it travelled all the way to Africa, and much like our own evolution, it made it to other parts of the world from there. There is, however, a fascinating story attached to this famous beverage. Grab a cup of your favourite coffee and read on!

Who first invented Coffee?

Kaldi and his dancing goats

The story behind who discovered coffee leads back to Kaldi, an Ethiopian shepherd who found his goats acting strangely one day. They danced around after feeding on some red berries. He handed the berries to a monk who found it kept him awake through the night. Another myth has it that the monk threw it in a fire and the arousing aroma of the burning berries led to the discovery of Coffee.

Facts, not fiction

Though the above story may or may not have been confirmed, what we know for sure is that the history of Coffee began in Ethiopia, after which the beans travelled to Yemen. The port it arrived at was called Mocha, and since then, Mocha has been a term often associated with Coffee. It then travelled east and west to many Asian countries, including India, Indonesia, Italy, and into the rest of Europe, while Arabia was the gatekeeper of Coffee.

Baptizing and stealing this beverage

Coffee in Venice was baptized first, as it was considered a Satanic beverage, and it was later approved after converting it Christian. Brazil, currently the largest producer of Coffee got its hand on these beans by stealing them from the French.

History of Coffee in America leads to the American Revolution when tea was abandoned as an unpatriotic beverage and Coffee was acknowledged. This magic bean is now one of the second largest consumed products globally, closely trailing behind petroleum.

What was Coffee initially used for?

Coffee being a traveller of various countries has had many uses so far.

  • The coffee bean is found at the centre of the red coffee fruit. Early on, the fruit was mixed with animal fat to create a protein-rich snack bar.

  • At one point, the fermented pulp was used to make a wine-like concoction; incidentally, a similar beverage was made from the cacao fruit before the advent of chocolate.

  • Another drink that appeared around 1000 A.D. was made from the whole coffee fruit, including the beans and the hull.

  • In the 13th century, people began to roast coffee beans, the first step in making Coffee as we know it today.

  • In the Middle East, Coffee was originally used to aid concentration.

  • The history of Coffee has served immense varieties to this popular beverage that is now estimated to be consumed about 2.25 billion cups each day.

Also, Read about:Paneer: Historical Journey from Vedic to Portuguese Bengali Origin!

Coffee slavery history

Coffee is the second most traded product all over the globe. But the history of Coffee has a dark past etched in its beany roots. As with most traded goods of the ancient centuries, Coffee too was dependent on the slave trade.

It was a significant part of the Triangular trade that involved the European powers establishing colonies in tropical areas for coffee plantations, mostly the Caribbean, Asia, and Central/South America. They imported slaves from Africa to work on these plantations, produce Coffee, and export it back to Europe, thus completing a triangle.

But coffee production wasn't always limited to slavery. In Latin America, it depended on production by the indigenous population, like the Mayans, thus supporting their livelihood. There are still remnants of slavery that continue to affect the coffee industry.

Coffee all over the world

While our usual Coffee is just a drop of sugar and milk with some decoction, there are plenty of different ways this drink is served around the globe. Here's a simple breakdown.


Hot Coffee is poured over chunks of juustoleipä (cheese curds) in Finland.

Turk Kahvesi-

Finely ground coffee beans are simmered in a unique copper or brass pot called a cezve and are prepared unfiltered, and so the grounds settle to the bottom.


This drink is three parts black coffee and seven parts Hong Kong-style milk tea, a mix of black tea and milk.

Flat White-

This Aussie drink is made by pouring microfoam (steamed, velvety milk) over a shot of espresso.


Invented by a Nescafé representative in 1957, the frappé is a popular summer beverage in Greece, consisting of iced instant Coffee drowned in milk foam.


Coffee is made with a mix of spices including cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, saffron, and ginger and is often served with dried dates in the Arabian countries.

Irish Coffee

adds a pinch of Irish whiskey while the Italians have it with a slice of lemon.

Coffee is consumed in many different styles and with varied ingredients with constant experimentation in the making.

What are the 4 types of Coffee?

There are 4 types of Coffee based on the 4v types of coffee beans available:


Arabica is the most common and most heavily marketed type of Coffee in North America. It is because of a sweeter, more delicate flavour, and the Coffee itself tends to be less acidic. Brazil is the world's foremost exporter of Arabica beans.


Robusta coffee beans are second on global production and the most popular in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. It is known for its strong and often harsh flavour. Robusta coffees have incredibly high levels of caffeine. Robusta is used for discount lines like instant coffees. The very best Robusta coffee beans will have hints of chocolate and rum within their flavours.


Liberica coffee beans are rare. They're grown in particular climates, with production being far too scarce. Even still, the beans are considered a pleasant surprise. The flavour of Coffee they produce can be deemed as having a somewhat "woody" taste.


Excelsa is grown primarily in Southeast Asia and represents only a tiny fraction of the world's coffee production. Excelsa gifts a tart, fruitier flavour and is known for showing attributes of both light and dark roast coffees.

Interesting facts

Coffee is most of our habits. Yet, it has some interesting facts that may fascinate you before your next dose of Coffee.

  • Coffee drinkers tend to live longer.

  • The word "coffee" comes from the Arabic word for "wine."

  • One cup of black Coffee only has one calorie.

  • The leftover grounds can beautify your skin.

  • Coffee was banned in Mecca as it was believed to stimulate radical thinking and idleness.

  • In ancient Arab culture, still applicable in Saudi Arabia, a woman can allegedly divorce if her husband fails to bring her fresh coffee in the morning.

  • The most expensive coffee, Kopi Luwak, is made from cat poop.

Read More: History of Chole Bhature: Know the Food that is as Popular as Beyoncé!

Why is Coffee such a famous beverage?

The popularity of Coffee is credited to its key ingredients and the benefits it offers when consumed. The caffeine it comes with has stimulant properties that can keep you awake and energetic, and it is one of the most used psychoactive drugs in the world. It works as a stimulant and keeps the person wide awake. This is one of the main reasons for this beverage being most of our go-to drinks in the morning, and also on the nights, we plan to pull all-nighters.

The second most widely traded commodity, the history of Coffee, has relatively many shades to offer to the current position on the map and in most of our hearts.

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