The Great Coffee Beverage….. Some History And What Really Goes Into It.
Have you ever really thought about what goes into a good cup of coffee? If you are anything like me you probably haven’t, for the simply reason you are too engrossed unwinding and enjoying the rich aroma and taste to bother with any of the technical side of the brew. The deepest I have ever gone when I have a cup of the rich umber beverage in my hand is to let my mind drift off with the floating steam.
The information on the wrapper might tell you a bit about the beans you’re drinking but believe me there is so much more to the story of how coffee drinking came to be so popular the world over. The history behind this little roasted and ground bean is fascinating. From the pre-Columbian tribes to the modern drive-thru and Starbuck’s cafes, coffee has grown from a simple discovery to total sophistication.
One of the little know facts about coffee is that is was first discovered by the South American Indians well before the discovery of the New World. Its stimulating properties were soon recognised as it helped the tribe’s people to deal with the high altitudes, and for this alone it became very popular. Then after the Spanish Conquistadores arrived the green seeds (commonly but incorrectly called coffee beans) found their way into western history and the coffee culture was extended across the globe.
When the Spanish came to the New World, they were searching for cities of gold but instead they discovered other abundant resources and new products that they could trade with the whole of Europe. Chocolate and tobacco as well as coffee rapidly became sort after and famous throughout the continent.
History tells us that the first cafeteria was opened in 1475 in Constantinople at a place called Kiva Han. Following its success more coffee houses sprang up, serving hot coffee beverages with a side of gossip or politics. The coffee club was born.
Popularity of the beverage among the common folk didn’t reach any significance until the Americans came along. The reason for this was that most workers were just too busy to sit around sipping their favourite coffee brew while discussing the great discoveries of the “Age of Reason”. However once the general population were introduced to the new hot beverage the custom spread like wild fire. This event saw methods of mass production develop which fortunately made coffee more affordable. Now nearly everyone could afford a daily indulgence.
Instant coffee became popular during the World Wars even though it had been developed much earlier. Initially the unrefined method of boiling the coffee down until the oils solidified out, left it with a burnt and rancid taste which put most people off. It wasn’t unit a new method for extracting the oils was developed that the instant variety of coffee which is fairly similar to what we have now became a popular choice.
This is just a small glimpse of the history of how the coffee beverage has travelled around the world to where you are now.