Coffee 101: The Most Beloved Drink of All Time

Documented history of the widespread use of coffee dates back to the 15th century, but there are also legendary stories dating back to as early as the 9th century in Ethiopia.

 

As the story goes, a local goat herder found their goats to be more playful and energized when eating the fruits from the native “coffee” plants. For those familiar with raising goats, a goat on a normal day is quite mischievous. As a goat owner myself, I cannot imagine increased energy in my goats! 

 

Needless to say, the energized goats did not go unnoticed. The animated animals caught the attention of a local monk who roasted and brewed the fruits from the native plants. He too noticed an energy enhancement within himself, and thus, coffee was born.

 

Coffee has become one of the most beloved drinks of all time. In fact, coffee is the second-largest import in the world, second only to oil. Over 150 million American's consume coffee daily. The average American spends $1,092 a year on coffee, that’s around $20 a week. But coffee as we know it has had quite a long journey to get where it is today. 

 

As the story goes, the history of coffee begins with the appreciation for the fruit seed for its almost instantaneous energy and cognitive boosts. However, the stimulating effects of coffee have not always been appreciated looking back in history. Coffee was banned for encouraging radical thinking in Mecca and Cairo. In Italy, coffee had been banned for being 'satanic' by Italian clergymen. However, with the help of the Catholic Church, Pope Clement VII lifted the ban and had coffee baptized in 1600. Even in England, where coffee was a beverage for 'enlightenment', Charles II tried to condemn the famous coffee houses where intensive religious and political discussions ensued. Even as recently as the 18th-century Swedish government made coffee and all coffee paraphernalia like coffee cups illegal for its supposed ties to rebellious sentiment.  

 

Nowadays, we have thousands of scientific studies showing the health benefits of coffee which often confirm benefits that were touted back in the 15th century. Historical findings note that a brew of the coffee bean, mashed berries, health fats, and hot water was often used for medicinal purposes. While in today's world, coffee is mainly roasted and brewed as a warm jump-start to the day, or even an iced beverage to cool down, there are far more benefits to drinking a cup-of-joe than just its energy-boosting properties.