Coffee is the most popular beverage in the world. When you wake up in the morning, and you reach for your coffee or when you stop by Starbucks to buy a cup of coffee, did you ever wonder how coffee came to be in the U.S? Or who founded it?
Check this out, I’m not sure if you know this but it was actually goats that found out coffee beans was edible. Sometime around 600 A.D. a goat shepherd first noticed that his goats acted weird and more energetic after eating these cherry looking fruits from a bush nearby their herding area. The goat shepherd then shared this with the Abbot who worked at a monastery nearby. They tried cooking the cherry like fruit but the result was a bitter liquid. When the Abbot threw away their bitter liquid in the fire, a very nice aroma filled the room and soon the Abbot had the idea to make a drink out of what we now call coffee beans.
During the earlier days, coffee was used as a ritual and medicinal drink. Then during the end of the 15th century people started roasting and crushing coffee beans and extracting the flavor with hot water. Our founding fathers of the U.S. formed their nation strategies in coffeehouses during the revolution.
A Venetian merchant name Pietro Della Valle brought coffee to Italy in 1645. This soon became the drink. In Italy, espresso became a must every day, so the price became regulated by the government. Italy has over 200,000 coffee bars. A latte is an Italian word for milk, so if you ask for a latte in Italy, you’re pretty much asking for milk and will be served a glass of milk.
In 1723, King Louis XV of France sent three coffee plants to his colony, Martinique. Two of the plants died and the last one ended up in Jamaica. It turns out that Jamaica’s climate was perfect for coffee bean production, so perfect that by the 1814, there were at least 600 plantations on the island. But in the 1830s, slavery was abolished so there were a shortage of plantation workers since coffee beans are handpicked one at a time when ripe. Jamaica’s market crashed in about 1943 because of the shortage of laborers. The Coffee Industry Board in 1953 was created by the Colonial Secretary to help centralize the marketing system.
Today, most of Jamaica’s produced coffee is shipped to Japan, who ranks number 3 in the world for coffee consumption.
Produced by Michael Jones and Susana Vuong