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History Of Coffee

Aug 17, 2007
Whatever be the reason as to why people drink coffee, it is undoubtedly the most famous drink consumed today.

As far as Americans are concerned, coffee is a merely three hundred years old. In other places and cultures it has been a widespread phenomena for a much longer time. There are records indicating the use of coffee as early as 800 B. C. In fact, Homer speaks of a bitter black beverage that has powers of stimulation and for all we know Homer might have been speaking of coffee.

In the year 1000 A.D., coffee was mostly used for medicinal purposes. It has been reported than in 1400 a Yemeni goat herder saw his flock eating some reddish berries and consequently becoming excited and restless. When this goat herder told a monk about this they gathered the berries together and boiled them in water. They found that the resulting beverage could get rid of sleep and weariness.

The first coffee plant was started in Africa, in the Ethiopian region known as Kaffa. It then spread to Egypt, Yemen, and Arabia, and by this time had become part of everyday life.

By the late 1500s coffee was already being sold in Europe as any other commodity. But the shipping taxes were too high and the demand for coffee was also rising. This resulting in many people experimenting with the cultivation of coffee in other countries. Somewhere around 1727 coffee was grown for the first time in Brazil.

In 1903, Ludwig Roselius, a German coffee importer delivered a batch of damaged coffee beans to researchers. The researchers in turn discovered how to take the caffeine out of the beans without losing any flavor. Thus, decaffeinated coffee found its way into the market and was so distributed in the 1920s.

Instant coffee is basically soluble coffee powder that does not require the long preparation process involved with whole grain coffee. It was mass produced using the invention of George Constant Washington. He was an English chemist who was living in Guatemala at the time. One day, he was waiting for his wife to join him when he saw that there was a find powder deposited on the spout of his silver coffee urn. He presumed that this was condensation from coffee vapor and experimentation led to the invention of instant coffee.

In 1906 Washington started experiments that led to the introduction of his Red ECoffee in 1909.

In 1938, Nestle created freeze-dried coffee in order to help Brazil with a surplus in coffee production.

Nescafe was first introduced into Switzerland and by 1956 coffee was everywhere.

Every year, 400 billion cups of coffee are consumed in the United States. Coffee has become one of the largest commodities and is second only to oil.
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