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“Coffee – the Favourite Drink of the Civilized World.” – Thomas Jefferson
It is yet not exactly clear when or how coffee was discovered, even though there are a number of legends about its origin. Coffee that is being grown worldwide today can trace its heritage back to the coffee forest of ancient times on the Ethiopian plateau.
The legend has it, Kaldi, the goat herder, was the first one to discover the potential of the beloved beans. The story goes that Kaldi made the discovery of coffee after noticing that when his goat ate the berries off of a certain tree, the goats became so energetic that they did not even want to sleep at night.
As the word moved east and coffee reached the Arabian Peninsula, it started on a journey that brought these beans to places across the globe. Kaldi then reported his findings to a local monastery, who prepared a drink with the berries and found that this kept him alert through the long evening prayers. The knowledge of these extremely energizing berries began to spread when Kaldi shared his discovery with the other monks at the monastery. As the word took its way along the east, coffee reached the Arabian Peninsula, it took on a journey across the globe.
Coffee comes to Europe.
European traveling to the Near East came back with stories of a never heard of before “black beverage”. By the 17th century, coffee had successfully made its way into Europe and was gaining popularity across the continent.
“The bitter invention of Satan”
A number of people reacted to this new beverage with fear or suspicion. The local clergy actually condemned coffee when it entered Venice in 1615. This took a turn as a huge controversy, and Pope Clement VIII was asked to intervene. He decided to taste the beverage himself prior to making a decision and found out that the drink was so satisfying that it was given the papal approval.
Despite the controversy, the coffee houses were quickly becoming the center of all the social activity and communication amongst people in the major cities of Holland, Germany, France, Austria and England.
The dark beverage, now becoming everyone’s favourite, started to replace the common breakfast beverages. Those who chose to drink coffee instead of alcohol began the day energized and alert, accompanied by an improved quality of work.
By the mid 17th century, there were more than 300 coffee houses in London. Now, Coffee consumers in the UK most commonly drink two cups of coffee per day.
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