Coffee

To get ourselves refreshed, we drink a cup of hot coffee. In fact, it is one of most popular hot drinks which are consumed by people all over the world. But, how much do we know about coffee? Here, we would be giving a brief history of coffee to you. The use of the word coffee in English started in the 17th century. The word is derived from Italian word ‘caffé’ which again was derived from the Turkish word ‘kahveh’. This Ottoman Turkish word was derived from the Arabic ‘qahweh’. The origin of this Arabic word is not known but it is thought that it is associated with Kaffa region of Ethiopia where coffee was first grown.

Coffee plant was discovered in the 9th century on Ethiopian highlands by shepherds grazing goats. They discovered that their goats were getting extra energy after consuming wild berries of coffee plant. Thus, consumption of coffee started. Soon, its use spread to Egypt and Yemen. By the 15th century, people in the Middle East, Persia, Armenia, Turkey and North Africa were drinking coffee.

The method of roasting the beans and preparing the beverage was first developed in Arabia. Thereafter, the use of Coffee spread from the Middle East first to Italy and thereafter to the rest of Europe. The drink got official approval when Pope Clement VIII declared coffee as a Christian drink in 1600. The Dutch used to import large quantities of coffee and they were the first European people who defied the Arab ban on exporting coffee plant or its seed.The Dutch man Pieter van den Broeck brought coffee from Aden in 1616 by defying this ban. Thereafter, Dutch people started cultivating coffee in Java and Sri Lanka. British East India Company also made coffee popular in England.

Drinking of coffee was introduced in Northern America when it was under the British rule. But, drinking coffee did not become as popular as it was in Europe and tea was the most preferred hot drink. But during US War of Independence, tea supply became restricted because of the restricted supply of British traders. Consequently, the demand of coffee started to increase in the United States and traders used to hoard its supplies.

After the War of 1812, Britain temporarily stopped exporting tea to the United States. This led American to become very fond of coffee and demand increased even more during American Civil War. At this time, Americans also introduced their own way of brewing coffee. This is the brief history of how coffee has become so popular in the United States as a refreshing hot drink.

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