Coffee History

  • The story goes that way back at the beginning of the coffee journey goats were actually the first to discover the effects of the coffee berry which led Ethiopian shepherds to start of the coffee timeline in around 800AD.
  • At the beginning of the relationship between man and berry the cherry was mixed with animal fat and enjoyed as a form of energy bar, still around 800AD. A little later the pulp of the fruit was fermented and used to make a drink similar to wine.
  • Circa 1400, coffee was known as ‘qahwah’ which was Yemen for Wine.
  • We can thank Syria for the very first coffee house back in 1530! It wasn’t until 1554 that Turkey then opened it’s first coffee house.
  • In 1616, the coffee plant began its European journey when the Dutch transported the plant from Yemen to Holland.
  • In 1665, the coffee mill was invented. By a locksmith in London!
  • The ‘Women’s Petition Against Coffee’ demanded that coffee was banned to those under the age of 60 in 1674.
  • In 1670, Dorothy Jones got the licence to be the first American coffee trader.
  • In 1689 Francois Procope opened the very first Parisian coffee house.
  • In the 17th Century Pope Clement gave Catholics the go ahead to drink coffee, prior to which there was some real confusion as to if it was allowed or not.
  • In 1773 it became American Patriotic duty to drink coffee thanks to the Boston Tea Party.
  • There have been 5 occasions in history in which coffee has been a banned substance! Usually due to the stimulating effects of coffee but oddly the most recent ban, in 1777 was actually because coffee was threatening the profits from beer in Prussia.
  • Maxwell House was named in 1886 by Joel Cheek after a Nashville hotel where the brand was served.
  • 1900 saw vacuum tins being used to store and preserve coffee for the first time by Hills Bros, allowing for longer storage and easier transportation.
  • In 1906, George Washington (George Constant Washington, Chemist, not President!) created the first mass produced brand of instant coffee, Red E Coffee.
  • In 1927 The La Pavoni machine became the first espresso machine to be installed in the US at Regio’s NY, the orginal machine can still be seen their to this day.
  • Starbucks opened its very first coffee house doors in Pike Place, Seattle.
  • In 1991 we saw students of Cambridge University invent the webcam, story has it that it was built so they could save themselves a trip to the coffee machine if their brew wasn’t ready as they could see the footage live and save themselves the trip if the coffee pot was empty!
  • A 13,200 litre cup of coffee entered the Guinness book of records in 2012.
  • We see the very first espresso machine in space in 2014, allowing astronauts to enjoy a ‘cup of Joe’ in the stars for the very first time.