Humans can date back to the use of coffee and coffee beans to the 16th century. This popular and regularly used product has been a part of history for many cultures.
When we think of history, some of the prominent ancient civilizations that come to mind are the Romans and Greeks. Coffee is widely drunk in Italy in modern times, and it’s made many people assume that the ancient Romans drank this energizing beverage. But did they actually?
The Romans Did Not Drink Coffee
Surprisingly, the Romans did not drink coffee. Ancient Romans existed between the years 753 BC and 476 AD. Even if coffee beans existed in the world during this time, the ancient Romans did not know about them.
I know it’s hard to imagine a culture that is now so deeply rooted in coffee culture without this delicious beverage, but there was a time long, long ago when they went without.
Where Did Coffee Originate?
It’s hard to know where exactly coffee originated from, but it’s believed that coffee originated in Ethiopia if you ask many historians. But, there are several legends that exist that don’t fit this theory. Many say that coffee was first discovered in Ethiopia in the 15th century before many other areas of the world began discovering the drink in the 16th century.
The Ethiopian legend, and the most widely accepted legend, is that coffee forests can be traced back to plateaus in Ethiopia. Legend says that a goat herder discovered the coffee plant and what the now treasured beans could be. The herder, Kaldi, found the coffee beans because his goats ate what he believed to be berries and became incredibly energized.
They were so energetic that they didn’t want to go to sleep. The herder reported the findings to the monastery, which then made a drink with the berries and were able to stay awake for much longer after drinking it.
The folks at the monastery shared this discovery amongst the other people at the monastery, and then the drink they’d made began to spread. New spread about this seemingly magical drink to the Arabian peninsula, which in turn began its spread around the world.
Once it reached the Arabian peninsula, that’s when the cultivation of coffee began. During the 15th century, farmers began growing coffee in the Yemeni area of Arabia. This area was known as Persia by the 16th century, which is what we now know as Turkey, Egypt, and Syria.
So, it’s safe to say that coffee originated in Ethiopia but was predominantly grown in Turkey, Egypt, and Syria.
When Did Coffee Come to Italy?
Once the news about this drink that would later be called coffee spread to the Arabian peninsula, it wasn’t long before it was spreading around the world. Many historians say that coffee reached Italy by the 16th century, but the majority will agree that coffee didn’t reach the shores of Europe until the 17th century.
Issues Coffee Faced When Arriving in Europe
Nowadays, it’s hard to picture anyone having a strong opinion against coffee. But, when coffee first came to the continent of Europe, many people were skeptical.
The vast majority of people in Europe did not trust this new drink that came from lands they weren’t as knowledgeable about. The unknown terrified people during this time, and that extended to coffee.
When coffee arrived in Venice in 1615, people referred to the beverage as the “bitter invention of Satan,” making many people fearful of drinking in it.
The current Pope originally felt the same, and it wasn’t until he tried the drink himself that he deemed it safe for people to drink, and he gave it the official stamp of approval from the Catholic Church.
Coffee Growth Despite the Controversy
Even though many people were fearful of this new beverage before the Pope gave his stamp of approval, coffee shops were popping up around Europe. Much as they are used today, these coffee shops were used as places to gather with friends and gather some fuel before a long day.
During the 16th and 17th centuries, beer and wine were the most common breakfast drinks. Even though this was completely normal at the time, these two beverages can make you more tired due to their chemical components being a depressant.
Coffee soon became the logical replacement for beer and wine at breakfast due to people drinking it feeling very energized and ready to tackle the day. By the 17th century, you could find over 300 coffee shops throughout London and many in other important cities throughout the continent.
What Countries Drink The Most Coffee?
It’s safe to say that most people think the top coffee-consuming countries include Turkey, Greece, and Italy, due to their coffee culture being very well known and special coffee drinks being named after them. But are they the top coffee-consuming countries in the world? Surprisingly, neither of these countries are the leading consumers of coffee in the world.
Finland is the number one consumer of coffee in the world. People in Finland consume about 26 pounds of coffee per capita every year. This is because in Finland, drinking coffee is encouraged not just in the morning but also all day.
Coming in a close second to Finland is another Scandinavian country, Norway. Norwegians consume about 22 pounds of coffee per capita per year. Even though coffee began arriving in
Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries, it didn’t reach Norway until the 18th century. Like in many European countries, coffee is served at breakfast and after dessert in Norway.
The third country that consumes the most coffee in the world is Iceland. Iceland consumes about 19 pounds of coffee per capita per year.
What Countries Produce The Most Coffee?
It’s safe to say that even though these three very cold countries drink the most coffee in the world, the environment there doesn’t let them grow coffee beans. The three countries leading the world in coffee production are Brazil, Vietnam, and Colombia.