A Very Short History of Coffee.
The exact origins of coffee as a drink are not truly known but it is widely believed that the coffee bean or cherry was first discovered in Ethiopia around 2,000 years ago. Legend has it that a goat herder was watching his goats going crazy after eating the cherries from a coffee tree and thought he would have a try himself, he discovered that the cherries gave him extra energy and helped him to stay awake while watching his herd.
It was then believed that the locals soon started combining the cherries with the plant leaves to make some kind of caffeinated cake.
Skip forward to the 5th century AD, the Kingdom of Aksum ruled parts of Ethiopia and Egypt and where trading with the Roman Empire but no records have been found of the Romans consuming anything similar to the crazy caffeine cake or drinking anything that sounded similar to coffee.
Fast forward another couple of hundred years to the 7th century AD, Aksum invaded Yemen, Ethiopia and Yemen began to establish trade, Yemen opened up trade routes through the Middle East from the port of Mokha. It is also believed that Islam began the spread of coffee as it was used to help them stay awake during during all night prayers.
The rise of the Arab nations in the Middle East saw the demand for more coffee and by the end of the 15th century the first coffee house was documented in Yemen.
In 1511 Coffee was banned by the governor of Mecca and coffee beans where burned in the streets and coffee houses closed down, the law was soon overturned by a Sultan but other parts of the Arab nation followed suite and coffee houses across the land began to close. This lasted for approximately 200 years before someone decided enough was enough and proved that coffee didn’t really have magic powers and wasn’t the devils GoGo juice.
When the Ottoman Turks took over Yemen in 1517 they recognised how important the Magical Coffee Bean was and passed strict laws on the export of coffee and began to export partially roasted coffee beans to Europe.
1596 saw the first documented account of Coffee in Denmark, it was said that this drink is to be taken in the morning to strengthen yourself reading for the day.
By the early 1600s Coffee had finally made its way to Britain and in 1652 the first Coffee house was opened in London. It was marketed as Magical Drink that helped you break wind, yes, apparently coffee helps you fart.
In 1671 the first Coffee shop was opened in America, Boston to be exact, with another being opened in New York 25 years later (by the British)
Lets quickly jump past the rest and the boring stuff about other countries starting Coffee shops and other countries wanting to grow their own Coffee trees and the boring stuff about the development of sugar beet that made the drink even more popular and the bit about the Americans not being able to get hold of tea because of some war in 1812 so Coffee became the national drink of USA (apart from whiskey)
Let’s go straight to the best bit, in 2018 Tactical Coffee was formed and this revolutionised the way we buy Coffee here in the UK.