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The Story of Coffee

Aug 17, 2007
Coffee is very important to many people these days. It used to be that you had to travel a good distance to get a decent cup of coffee or a good cappuccino. Recently, that has all changed. Coffee is the "buzz" word these days. Even if you can't take the caffeine, you can still have your cup of coffee.

To give you an idea of the popularity of coffee, just think back to five or ten years ago. How many espresso machines do you think there were? Now, you'll find twenty or more brands of espresso machines on your supermarket shelves - or in your specialty coffee shops.

The quality of the ground coffee and coffee beans are much higher today than they have been in the past. In fact, a lot of people grind their own coffee every morning rather than drink a cup of what they call "plain" coffee. Americans, in particular are very picky about the quality of their coffee. Many even have espresso and cappuccino machines. Buying the machines for home use is a lot less expensive than running down to the local coffee shop to buy a specialty coffee.

Coffee is also more expensive now so it pays to look at the brands of coffee that you purchase. Costa Rican coffee is lower priced than Hawaiian Kona, for example.

The origin of coffee is said to have come from Ethiopia and the strange berries that the monks discovered there. The Ethiopians used to use the coffee beans as food by mixing them with animal fat and rolling them into balls. Then, they progressed to grinding them and fermenting them into wine. Coffee was used as a medicine by the Islamics in the thirteenth century and by the fifteenth century, coffee was finally brewed as a beverage and its use was spread throughout the Middle East.

To begin with, the Arab traders only sold roasted or boiled beans so that they couldn't be planted by someone else. In the early seventeenth century, it was smuggled into India. Venetian traders were the first people to take coffee beans to Europe. The first coffee house opened in England in 1637 and soon coffee houses replaced taverns as England's meeting places.

Coffee houses became popular in Italy, France and other European countries. Coffee became popular in 1773 in America after the Boston Tea Party.

Over the next two hundred years, coffee became one of the most popular drinks around the world. Since it could be served hot or cold, it became the beverage of choice - especially for the "wake up" cup for Americans.
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