The History of Coffee

The History of Coffee

It was once upon a time in the Kingdom of Kaffa, today’s Ethiopia,

when the Abyssinian shepherd Kaldi noticed that his goats did not rest at night after the consumption of the red coffee cherries.
Coffee was mentioned here already in the 9th century.

  • From Ethiopia the coffee probably came to Arabia in the 14th century by slave traders.
  • From a famous Arabic manuscript of Abd al-Kafir from the year 1587, coffee consumption is reported.
  • Another contemporary report is interpreted as saying that the Sheikh Gemaleddin, Mufti of Aden, had cultivated coffee cultures in Yemen in 1454, for which Arabica seeds had been taken from the Abyssinian mountains.
  • Via Mecca and Medina, coffee came to Cairo in 1510 by traveling pilgrims.
  • Around 1511 the first coffee houses were built in Mecca.
  • In 1517 Sultan Selim I had incorporated Syria, Yemen, and Egypt.
  • From the southern Yemeni port of Mocha (today’s al-Mukha) and Jiddah, Mecca’s previous port, coffee cultivation spread over 4 continents.
  • In 1530/32 the first coffee houses in Damascus and Aleppo were opened in Syria.
  • 1554 the first coffee house on European ground in Constantinople.
  • In 1645 a cafe was opened in Venice.
  • 1650 followed Oxford, 1652 London, 1659 Marseille, 1663 Amsterdam and The Hague. In 1672 the Parisians also had their first cafe.
  • In 1673, there was the first coffee house on German ground in Bremen, followed in 1677 in Hamburg, Berlin in 1721.
  • 1683 In front of Vienna, the Turks were defeated. Franz Georg Kolschitzky, who had acquired great services around the city during the siege of Vienna by the Turks, received as a present the leftover coffee and the permission to dispense coffee.
  • In 1718, the govonor of Batavia (Djakarta) brought coffee seeds to Dutch Guiana (Surinam).
  • The French navy officer De Clieu brought coffee trees from the Jardin des Plantes in Paris to Martinique in 1723.
  • The Typica plants were brought from 1710 as a war reparation from Amsterdam to Paris.
  • They came from a plant imported from Java in 1706.
  • In 1726 came the first coffee plants of Surinam or Martinique to Brazil.
  • In 1875, Guatemala became a coffee country through the Spaniards.
  • Here, as everywhere in the Latin American plantation industry, African slaves had to work.
People’s drink in Europe
  • In 1896 the coffee finally reached the fifth continent and in Queensland first coffee plantations were created.
20th Century
Who now believes the numbers are not right – might be right. Each source fluctuates pretty much all the numbers by a few years or decades … So it is with (hi)story(s)

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