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Coffee History

In the Beginning:

Legend has it, coffee was discovered by an Ethiopian goat herder named Kaldi. One day, he noticed his goats frolicking around in an unusually spirited manner. He obsvered that they were also eating the berries of a nearby shrub.

Not being one to be left out of all the fun, he decided to try the berries himself. He was energized and pleased with the effects the cherries had on him. He told his friends and soon word spread throughout the region. The rest is history.

Coffee Timeline:

Prior to 1000 A.D.: Members of the Galla tribe in Ethiopia notice that they get an energy boost when they eat a certain berry, ground up and mixed with animal fat.

1000 A.D.: Arab traders bring coffee back to their homeland and cultivate the plant for the first time on plantations. They also began to boil the beans, creating a drink they called "qahwa" (literally, that which prevents sleep).

1453: Coffee is introduced to Constantinople by Ottoman Turks. The world's first coffee shop, Kiva Han, opens there in 1475

1607: Captain John Smith helps to found the colony of Virginia at Jamestown. It's believed that he introduced coffee to North America.

1645: First coffeehouse opens in Italy

1652: The first coffeehouse opens in England. Coffeehouses are called "penny universities" (a penny is charged for admission and a cup of coffee). Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse opens in 1688. It eventually becomes Lloyd's of London, the world's best known insurance company. The word “TIPS” is coined in an English coffee house: A sign reading “To Insure Prompt Service” (TIPS) was place by a cup. Those desiring prompt service and better seating threw a coin into a tin.

1683: The first coffeehouse opens in Vienna. The Turks, defeated in battle, leave sacks of coffee behind.

1690: With a coffee plant smuggled out of the Arab port of Mocha, the Dutch become the first to transport and cultivate coffee commercially, in Ceylon and in their East Indian colony - Java, source of the brew's nickname.

1713: The Dutch provide Louis XIV of France with a coffee bush whose descendants will produce the entire western coffee industry.

1721: First coffee house opens in Berlin.

1723: French naval officer Gabriel Mathieu do Clieu steals a seedling from France and transports it to Martiniqe. Within 50 years an official survey records 19 million coffee trees on Martinique. Eventually, 90 percent of the world's coffee spreads from this plant.

1727: The Brazilian coffee industry gets its start when Lieutenant Colonel Fancisco de Melo Palheta is sent by the government to arbitrate a border dispute between the French and the Dutch colonies in Guiana. Not only does he settle the dispute, but also strikes up a secret liaison with the wife of the French Guiana's governor. Although France guarded its New World coffee plantations to prevent cultivation from spreading, the lady said good-bye to Palheta with a bouquet in which she hid cuttings and fertile seeds of coffee.

1773: The Boston Tea Party makes drinking coffee a patriotic duty in America.

1822: The prototype of the first espresso machine is created in France.

1900: Hills Bros. begins packing roasted coffee in vacuum tins, spelling the end of the ubiquitous local raosting shops and coffee mills.

1901: The first soluble "instant" coffee is invented by Japanese-American chemist Satori Kato of Chicago.

1903: German coffee importer Ludwig Roselius turns a batch of ruined coffee beans over to researchers, who perfect the process of removing caffiene from the beans without destroying the flavor, He markets it under the brand name "Sanka." Sanka is introduced to the United States in 1923.

1905: The first commercial espresso machine is manufactured in Italy.

1908: The invention of the world's first drip coffee maker. Melitta Bentz makes a filter using blotting paper.

1946: In Italy, Achilles Gaggia perfects his espresso machine. Cappuccino is named for the resemblance of its color to the robes of the monks of the Capuchin order.

1995: Coffee is the world's most popular beverage. More than 400 billion cups are consumed each year. It is a world commodity that is second only to oil.

2011: The Oasis Coffee Spot opens in New Port Richey, Florida!