International Coffee Day: A Brief History

Updated: 10/01/2022
Did you know that 64% of Americans start their day with a cup of coffee? This was the latest poll that was taken in 2020 and it makes sense, considering most major cities have a coffee shop on just about every block. So, in honor of International Coffee Day, we are going to walk through a little bit of the history of coffee and why it became so popular.
Coffee from all over the world can be traced back to its heritage in the forests of Ethiopia. The famous legend goes that Kaldi found a special berry and that after eating it (and feeding some to his goats) that the goats were so energetic they couldn’t sleep. Of course, he had to tell everyone about this phenomenon, so Kaldi went and told the monks at the monastery. The monks began to make a drink from the berries and quickly found out that it was capable of keeping them up all night so they could pray. The excitement of these special berries spread and began its journey around the world.
The coffee trade began in the Arabian Peninsula first around the 15th century. This started a culture of coffee houses that people frequented often and quickly became a cultural staple. Everyone went there for the music, to watch dancers performing, to play chess, or just to swap information. Through coffee houses, coffee quickly became an integrated part of Arabian culture.
In the 17th century
European voyagers began to bring back this mystical black drink that had most clergymen concerned. Yet, there was no stopping coffee from becoming a morning staple after the Pope quickly gave his seal of approval on the beverage. Europe concluded that by drinking coffee in the morning, instead of their normal beer or wine, they woke up more energized and productive.
So, on to the Americas, it went. Shortly after the New World was founded in the mid-1600s, coffee quickly came to the forefront. This was accelerated after the heavy tea tax that King George III placed on the colonists. After the colonies revolted in the Boston Tea Party, Thomas Jefferson said coffee would be, “…the favorite drink of the civilized world”. And so it has.
Modern Day
Coffee is now a staple in most households. Coffee shops still have the same charm and allure as they did centuries ago. So, what is it about coffee that is so special? First and foremost, just like those goats in the 15th century, coffee enhances your energy level and helps you to feel less fatigued. Coffee is also great in helping to burn fat as it boosts your metabolism. Coffee also helps to improve your brain function by making you more alert, and the more alert you are the more productive you can be. As if these reasons aren’t enough — it also tastes delicious!
If you are currently a barista or an aspiring barista, note that you will more than likely need a food handlers certificate to work in a coffee shop. Most coffee shops serve some kind of food, so in order to give the best and safest service, a food handlers course may be required.
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