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Jocelyn Hsu / Spoon

A Brief History of Coffee

Most of us have fallen into an addiction, or rather an expensive habit, of enjoying a coffee at least once a day. And that’s OK because getting up and out of bed deserves a reward of some kind.

But what made coffee the international alarm clock? And how did civilization go from finding a bean to charging $6 for a cup of warm brown liquid?

According to the National Coffee Association, there are many legends about how coffee was discovered. From energetic goats on the Ethiopian Plateau to cultivation and trade in the Arabian Peninsula, coffee was established in several countries by the 16th century.

Coffee houses in the middle east grew in popularity, and by the 17th century, the drink had made its way to Europe.

However, as old people in old times tend to do, they feared the “bitter invention of Satan” and the local clergy in Venice condemned it in 1615. Luckily, Pope Clement VIII decided to try it for himself, and like many of us after the age of 12, gave its approval.

According to Historic UK, the first coffee house was opened in Oxford in 1652. By the mid-17th century, there were over 300 coffee houses in London. Although the tables weren’t adorned with silver laptops, coffee houses were open to any social class, so they became a symbol of equality. Even the London Stock Exchange started in a coffee house.

With time, tea dethroned coffee as the popular drink in England and the New World. However, after the Boston Tea Party, Americans suspiciously started preferring coffee…

In the late 17th century, the Dutch started growing coffee in Indonesia, and King George in his Parisian Royal Botanical garden. A naval officer was able to transport a seedling to Martinique, and that’s credited with 18 million coffee trees over the next half-century. Plantations, fortunes, and delicious drinks have been made since then, all over the world.

Since then, companies like Starbucks have been able to capitalize on its taste and invent newer and more expensive ways of selling it. However, according to Bustle, the expensive iced coffee was shockingly not invented by Starbucks, but actually came from a French drink called Mazagran. Toddy, then Dunkin’, and finally, Starbucks started selling frappuccinos in 1995.

Surprisingly, most of the world’s iced coffee drinkers are in Asia, but I can argue that a significant portion resides in the Marston basement, where the Starbucks line never seems to shrink.

So, ladies, and gentlemen. Keep ordering those venti iced double shot two pumps of vanilla with light ice, the American economy depends on it. At least next time, you’ll know about the goats that started it all.






Public Relations Gator trying to make orange and blue look good. Fan of mom jeans, feminists, and the oxford comma.
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