As with any of the most important staples, the history of coffee in America is a story of culture, love and discovery. It’s true and the world is most certainly a better place with coffee.
At the same time, with the growth of Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts and others, we could be forgiven for not knowing the origin and true taste of this wonderful beverage.
With this in mind, let us take a close look at the origin of gourmet coffee and the history of coffee in America.
Legend has it that a young goat herder in Ethiopia was responsible for the discovery of coffee. Noticing a distinct restlessness in his heard after they had consumed an unidentified plant, the goat herder relayed his observation to some monks in a monastery nearby.
In time, these curious monks would discover that by roasting, grinding and adding water to the beans of the plant, they could make a unique and potent beverage.
Initially, this dark-toned beverage was then used by monks to stay awake during long sessions of prayer. However, word spread quickly about this exciting new concoction and nearby towns, cities and entire countries began to develop an appreciation for coffee.
But when did coffee come to America?
Gourmet coffee was first produced in mass quantities in Yemen, after arriving on ships from Ethiopia.
Interestingly, even though Arab leaders placed a ban on the exportation of coffee beans, Dutch traders managed to steal some of these coffee plants and use them to set up plantations in Bali, Java and Latin America.
If you take most modern scriptures about the history of coffee in America, you will know that the British brought this bean to America in the 17th Century. Although many specific accounts are referenced, the intricacies of most stories are a little inaccurate. However, it is certainly not disputed that the British were responsible for the introduction.
As it turns out, coffee was very popular at this time and especially with the British colonists during the revolt against King George III.
In case you might be asking yourself, it was also in Mecca, that the very first coffee shops were opened. Eventually, these coffee houses became popular in Paris and London before spreading to America in the 1600’s.
Needless to say, the demand for gourmet coffee was rather high in the 1600’s. For this reason, Dutch traders began selling coffee seeds, which were then planted and used to create plantations.
As you may know, coffee went on to become an incredibly profitable niche and by the 18th century, it was a primary focus for many American businessmen.
But that’s just part of the story…
In the 19th century, large coffee brands began to emerge with Maxwell House and the Hills Brothers being among the most famous. Later, instant coffee arrived in the market and as you may know, the very first Starbucks was opened in 1971. As we know, with Starbucks and a host of other coffee chains on every street corner, the history of coffee in America has certainly evolved.
And what about today?
Coffee is as popular as ever but the truth is, much like beers or wine, coffee is now an artistic craft. In other words, we value meaningful aspects of coffee such as where the beans are grown or how they might be roasted. On the other hand, we also want to know that this produce is the result of local farmers and local operatives working together.
And in many ways, this is the real beauty of evolution with coffee – the care and attention that goes into every cup. While some people see the beverage as nothing more than a stimulant, there is also a demand for fresh roasted coffee for working Americans. With this in mind, instant coffee is no longer the force it used to be and the sublime taste of artisan coffee continues to rise.
This increased focus on quality encourages farmers to produce the very best coffee and build upon the community in which the coffee is grown. Just one of the many reasons we are so proud of what we do here at Blackout Coffee Company.
Have you tried Blackout Coffee’s latest blends? Please let us know in the comments!
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Behind Coffee Arabica, Robusta is the second-most popular coffee in the world today. It is produced by the Coffea canephora plant, which was originally grown in the western and central portions of sub-Saharan Africa.
About 40% of the world’s coffee consumed each day is Coffee Robusta.
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