A brief history of coffee

Coffee beans

It's safe to say a significant portion of the adult world runs on caffeine, usually received in the form of coffee. It's best not to talk to me until I've had my first cup of the day, and I know I am not alone in that sentiment. Beyond the caffeine, the tantalizing aroma of coffee and the way the mug warms your hands on chilly days are part of a simple yet satisfying everyday ritual for people across the globe. First We Feast explains a little about why this is so through an illustrated history of coffee.

As is the case with many other food items, the origins of man's use of coffee are shrouded in the mists of time. What we do know is that by the early 1400s, people in Ethiopia began brewing roasted coffee beans in water to make a delicious caffeinated beverage. By the 1500s trade around coffee beans began to take hold, moving across the globe as the beverage's popularity increased. People began to congregate in coffee houses to share in the drinking ritual that continues to the present time.

Some rulers felt threatened by coffee houses, which became "dens of political and social upheaval, where intellectuals, revolutionaries, and dissidents could discuss their caffeinated ideas until dawn." But despite coffee houses being outlawed in many countries, coffee culture kept growing. Grab a cup of joe and head to the First We Feast website to read more about the three "waves" in the development of coffee consumption.

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