The official blog of Historical Fiction author, Mary Anne Yarde, and home to The Coffee Pot Book Club. Come and join Mary Anne on the hunt for everything historical, as well as mythological. Oh, and let's not forget the odd book or two! Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy...
Have you ever taken a sip of your
favorite coffee and wondered where it all started?Who was the first person to look at a coffee
fruit and think that it would make a great drink? It turns out that the true
origins are a little difficult to track down, and its history is filled with
legend and lore. In fact, the debate over the origins is almost as heated as
coffee bar arguments over which brew method produces the best cup.
Nonetheless, we set out to learn.
This is what we found out.
and the Magical Fruit
The roots of the coffee plant can be
traced back to the region of Kaffa, located in the Ethiopian Peninsula. While
we know that the fertile grounds of the ancient forest of this region were the
first to nourish the coffee plant, the rest of early coffee history is a little
The most well-known legend of coffee
originates somewhere around the 11th century and involves a man
named Kaldi and his goats.
Kaldi, and his goats, spent much
time wandering through the forest of the Ethiopian Peninsula. At some point in
his travels, his hunger got the best of him, and he started to nibble on a few
berries that he found along the way. The goats also took the opportunity to
nibble on the shiny leaves and jeweled colored berries.
Kaldi realized that his goats seemed
to frolic about more after eating the fruit. For that matter, he too had more
energy and was happier after his nibbles.Kaldi and his goats lived happily with their magical fruit.
Then one day a monk came along,
noticed the Kaldi’s energy and immediate brought the fruit back to his
monastery, where it was dried and the drink that we know as coffee was born.
to the Arabian Peninsula
It wasn’t long before coffee gained
popularity in the land and word of the plant began spreading east towards the
Arabian Peninsula, where cultivation and trade set into works the worldwide
love of the drink.
By the 16th century,
plantations were popping up in the Arabian Peninsula and coffee had gained
popularity in Turkey, Persia, Egypt and Syria. At this point, coffee was
becoming more than a drink to energize and lift the spirits. It was becoming an
element of modern culture.
The 16the century saw the birth of the
first coffee houses, where patrons would go to converse and engage in the arts.
This was the beginning of modern day coffee culture as we know it.
In the early 17th
century, Europeans got their first taste of coffee in Venice, where it was
brought in from merchants that had visited Istanbul.
As you can probably imagine, not
everyone in Europe was immediately fond of the beverage. After all, it was
dark, much darker than tea. Plus, it had a strong, bitter flavor that many in
Europe were unaccustomed to.
But, you and I both know the magic
and charm of coffee, and it quickly caught on. From street merchant beginnings
to refined, social coffee houses, coffee was quickly becoming a commodity.
It was also in Europe that coffee became
the quintessential breakfast drink, replacing beer and wine as the morning
drink of choice. One can only imagine that this came with some perks to daily
productivity as well.
World and Modern Love
Coffee quickly became such a hot
trade commodity that regions all over Europe made attempts at growing, and of
course failed, leaving the world’s coffee production to the lush tropical
climate of the coffee belt.
In 1720, France sent some coffee
plants to its colonies in Central America, and by 1726 the region was
harvesting its first crop and was on its way to coffee stardom. Today, Brazil
remains the largest, and one of our favorite, growers of coffee in the world.
Greatness really does come from humble beginnings.
For thousands of years, we have had
a love affair with coffee. From Kaldi and his goats, to Arabian coffee houses
and Venetian merchants, coffee has woven its way into our lives and our hearts.
Even though coffee’s roots are
thousands of years old, we feel confident that there is much of coffee’s story
that has yet to be told. And, we are excited to be a part of it.
Nomad Coffee Club
Coffee Club is a coffee subscription company founded in
New York with offices in both Manhattan and Los Angeles. We source small-batch
green coffee beans globally and roast them locally in Los Angeles. This allows
our customers to become coffee “Nomads” while never leaving the comfort of
their own home.
also believe in giving back. A portion of all of our sales go back to improving
the lives of the coffee farmers and the working conditions they endure on a