Coffee - A Brief History

Caffeine is the single most important ingredient in one of the most consumed beverage in the world. For millions around the world, coffee is the drink that jump-starts the day. It is a combination of the addictive nature and the energy rush that keeps people loyal to their "joe". Why is coffee so popular?

It is theorized that coffee originally began in Ethiopia. However, Ethiopians did not actually drink coffee. Rather than grind and dilute the beans, Ethiopians used animal fat as a wrap and consumed the beans as a meal. It was the Turkish who were first to grind the beans and consume coffee as a drink. In Arabia, the exportation of coffee was considered illegal because they so highly valued their coffee beans and wanted coffee circulated only within their country. It wasn't until the 1500s that coffee entered Europe. It is John Smith who is credited with importing coffee to North America during 1607. In 1773, the infamous "Boston Tea Party" left all of America without tea leaving only coffee as the main beverage.

Currently, coffee is grown in a variety of different locations, including up to 50 various countries. Brazil is the number one supplier of coffee worldwide. Columbia is the second largest supplier of coffee. America drinks, consumes and purchases more than one third of all of the world's coffee. Hawaii is the only American state that grows coffee. Because a warm and humid temperature is necessary to grow coffee, all of the world's coffee is grown close to the Earth's equator. Regions close to the equator growing coffee include: Latin America, Africa, Arabia and Asia/Pacific.

There are some coffees that are a multi-regional blend, which combine regions such as Latin America and Africa to create a unique mixture of coffee. Among the many variety of coffee beans, the two most popular and commercially cultivated are the Arabica and Robusta bean. It is the Arabica bean that is more valued yet contains less caffeine. The Robusta bean is more commercially valued, contains more caffeine and produces a less valuable form of coffee because it is inexpensive.

While it's a widely known fact that the main ingredient in coffee i.e. caffeine, is a stimulant, it also contains an unknown chemical factor that produces cortisol and adrenaline. Additionally, some people are allergic to caffeine. But there is hope. Decaffeinated coffee has most of the caffeine removed from the bean. It should be noted that caffeine is an addictive agent. So be careful and drink your coffee in moderation. There are some healthy advantages to drinking coffee. Drinking coffee in moderation can help prevent some types of cancers: colon, bladder and even cirrhosis of the liver. Although there are benefits to drinking coffee, be sure to note that coffee is by no means a replacement for other medication or supplements that help provide nutrition to the body.

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About The Author, Michael Russell
Michael Russell
Your Independent guide to Coffee