If you’re a coffee lover, you probably drink at least one cup of brew every day. Coffee has been around for hundreds of years, but have you ever thought about how coffee came to be? Seriously—who was the genius that discovered this stuff, and did they become rich?
We’re kidding…kind of.
The truth is, no one really knows how coffee came into existence. There are many legends about the origins of coffee, such as the story of Kaldi, a goat herder from Ethiopia that noticed his goats became so energetic after eating berries from trees. Kaldi shared these berries with others, and word about the energizing berries eventually made it to Arabia where it then boomed across the globe.
But this is just an Ethiopian Legend.
No one actually knows the date that coffee was discovered, how it was discovered, or even who discovered it, but researchers have been able to trace back to when coffee started to become popular enough that people started to grow and trade it.
History of coffee origins
It was in the 15th century in Arabia that coffee started to be cultivated and traded. By the 16th century, it became so popular in other countries, like Persia, Egypt, Syria, and Turkey, that coffee houses started to open where people could enjoy a good brew, socialize with others, listen to music, play chess, and hear the news. Sound familiar to your modern day coffee shops? Not a lot has changed today (other than the fashion, of course).
By the mid 17th-century, coffee came to England. The first coffee house opened in 1650 in Oxford. The first coffee house in London opened just two years after, and the same owner of the London coffee house eventually set up coffee stalls in Paris just 20 years later. You can see how easily the “energizing beans” spread throughout Europe too.
It wasn’t until the 18th century that coffee was introduced in America. This was because soldiers during the civil war relied on coffee for energy. Then, by the late 1800s, coffee had become a major worldwide commodity, loved by all.
Finally, by 1960 speciality coffees started to become popular. This led to the birth of the first-ever Starbucks in 1971, and all the speciality coffees that we know and love today. Hint, hint—cold brew coffee.
Fun facts about coffee
With a long history like coffee has, there are a ton of interesting facts about it as it spread all over the world and became popular. Here are some of the most surprising facts about coffee from its history up until now.
1. Coffee was seen as the devil’s cup
Yes—it’s true. As word spread about coffee, some people heard the story that it was a mysterious, exotic, and intoxicating liquor. Because of this, Catholics believed it was a bitter invention of Satan. Coffee also became feared by many, and it was even seen as sinful to drink it.
2. Coffee is the second most-valuable commodity
The first most-valuable commodity in the world is oil. But, second to oil is none other than our favorite energizing drink: coffee. It’s true; coffee is so loved worldwide that it’s the second most-valuable commodity.
3. Brazil currently grows the most coffee
Out of every country that cultivates coffee, Brazil actually produces one third of the entire world’s coffee supply. That’s 2x more than Vietnam, which is the country in second for coffee production.
4. Coffee is very low on calories
If you drink coffee black, you’re only drinking one single calorie from that brew. However, coffee quickly builds up its calories when you start to add sweeteners, milk, cream, or any other mixers. If you can learn to enjoy it without any additives, you’ll be lowering your calorie intake by a lot.
5. The world’s most expensive coffee is $600 per pound
Before you question the cost, the reason is because the coffee isn’t grown in a traditional way. In fact, this expensive coffee comes from the feces of an Asian cat creature that eats the coffee cherries fruit. This cat cannot digest the beans, so the seeds are taken from the feces and used to produce a smooth, less acidic brew.
Popular ways to enjoy coffee
Aside from the traditional way to drink coffee (brewing it in hot water), there are many ways to enjoy coffee now. You can pour your hot brewed coffee over ice to create iced coffee, you can let your beans soak in cold water for 12 or more hours to create cold brewed coffee, or you can slowly drip boiling water over your coffee to try something more coarse.
At Cold Brew Club, we specialize in creating the perfect cup of cold brew. If you want to try it out, check out how you can join our subscription program to get cold brew coffee delivered directly to your door every month.