Many people drink coffee several times a day, hot or cold. But how did this cherry’s seed became one of the most consumed beverage in the world? Where does it come from, how did it spread worldwide? And why some regions yield more and better coffee beans? Firstly, let’s start by getting to know the birth place of coffee…
The coffee plant is an evergreen shrub that originated on the African continent, more precisely in Ethiopia. It is estimated that Cafa is the Ethiopian region that originated names such as Café, Coffee, etc. According to legend, a humble shepherd noticed that his goats became different, more agitated, after eating a certain foliage (which was the coffee plant).
Leaving Ethiopia, coffee made its way directly to Arabia, where the Arabs rapidly adopted it. There and then, people considered coffee almost miraculous – sounds like someone you know? -, and gained a very important social role, due to its medicinal use at the time. That is why the Arabs used coffee to care for and cure various illnesses. Leaving Arabia, coffee was taken directly to Egypt, still in the 16th century and a little later, arrived in Turkey.
In Europe, it arrived in the 17th century, and England and Italy were its first producers. There, all social classes became coffee consumers, including intellectuals and artists of the time. Shortly thereafter, it invaded other countries like Switzerland, Holland, Germany, France and Denmark.
The Bean Belt
Roughly 70 countries around the world produce coffee beans. However, not all of them harvest the necessary quality and volume demanded to be considered as a world coffee supplier.