Coffee History

The history of coffee is uncertain and it is mostly known by word or from a legend. It is believed that coffee started in East Africa, on the plateaus of Central Ethiopia. One of the legends recounts that Khali, a goat herder,herder observed his goats acting overactive after eating certain kind of red "cherries" from a bush and he decided to try them. Soon after he was overactive as well.

Monks heard about the berries, and used them to stay awake during their late night prayers. In order to transport the berries between monasteries, they started to dry them and then put the berries in water, consumed the fruit, and drank the water.

From Ethiopia, coffee started its journey to the north, towards the Arabic peninsula and thereafter to Turkey. It is in Turkey, where the first coffee beans were roasted, ground precariously, boiled in water, and prepared as a beverage.

Venetian merchants brought coffee to Europe, where it was initially considered an impure beverage by Christianity. Many people thought that it was a devil's beverage and asked the pope to ban it, but Pope Vincent III tried it and enjoyed it, accepting it instead.

The first coffee plant that came from Europe to America landed in the isle of Martinique. A French captain brought it, taking care of it through out the journey. From Martinique, coffee plants started to spread through out the Caribbean, Central and South America.

Brewing also underwent a lot of improvements through out the centuries, but most of all, during the last two centuries. Many regions around the world have different ways, rituals, and social costumes, tied to the preparation of coffee beverages.

Time Line

800 BC: First known dates, Ethiopia.

1000: Coffee is known to be used as a medicine. Arab traders started to cultivate it in plantations.

1475: First coffee shops appeared in Constantinople, introduced by the Ottoman Turks.

1500: Coffee already in Europe.

1602: Coffee is introduced to America, but not grown.

1652: First coffeehouse in England.

1723: Coffee plant arrived to America.

1727: Coffee growing started in Brazil.

1773: America declared coffee the official national beverage.

1822: First espresso machine prototype is introduced in France

1825: Coffee was introduced to Hawaii.

1896: Coffee growing started in Australia.

1905: First commercial Espresso machine is sold in Italy.

1938: Nestle company introduces Nescafe instant coffee.

1940: Coffee is part of the soldier's meal.

1946: Achilles Gaglia perfects the espresso machine and the name of Cappuccino started to be used.

1962: "Finca El Noral" coffee estate is founded.

1989: Coffee prices plunged.

1990: Speciality coffees start to have a niche in the market.

2002: NoralCoffee starts.