A cup of coffee is one of the most unique, distinctive things about a person. Each person must stir their own coffee. The way a person takes their coffee can be so highly indicative of their personality. Sickeningly sweet? Tasteless? How about bitterly intense?
The everlasting elixir of eternal energy and youth. A universal language so inclusive that it has achieved widespread notoriety worldwide.
First you notice the smell. You dive into the aromatic arena, so incredibly deep you could almost drown in it. A cup of coffee can be as simple as opening a jar and dumping powder into a glass; or it can be incredibly calculated and deliberate; carefully concocted.
Coffee smells like a rainy day; the smell of petrichor lingering ever so slightly in the air. Or it could also be a hot summer day- nothing quenches thirst like caffeine.
It’s all those new friendships, business deals, and relationships, carefully cultivated and brewed.
That volcanic burst of energy when it touches your lips.
The History of Coffee
Nobody knows the exact origin of the idea of drinking coffee, but legend says that an Ethiopian goat herder in the 1500s discovered that when his goats ate the beans from a certain tree, they were unable to sleep at night.
He reported his findings to a local monastery, where a monk created a drink that he also found helped him stay alert during the long hours of prayer. The word slowly spread, making it extremely popular with those that wanted to try these mysterious, magical beans.
The next time we drink a cup of coffee to help study at night, let’s all remember to thank that caffeine-drunk goat in Ethiopia!
The word slowly started to spread, and it eventually reached the Arabian Peninsula. By the 15th century, coffee was well known and enjoyed in Turkey, Egypt, Syria and Persia.
The first coffee houses can also be traced back to the Arabian Peninsula. Known as “qahveh khaneh,” people met regularly to drink coffee, listen to music, and keep up to date with the latest news. Doesn’t sound much different than what we do today!
Or…did. I don’t understand how time works during the pandemic…
Once European travellers brought back stories of an unusual, black beverage; coffee began making its way to Europe in the 16th century. However, it wasn’t as well received.
Specifically in Italy, the drink was labelled as satanic and was attempted to be banned. However, Pope Clement VIII tasted it for himself and decided that it was absolutely delicious. It’s also said that he enjoyed it so much that he baptised the drink, and believed that it would be better for the people than alcohol. After his blessing, coffeehouses multiplied throughout Europe. By the 17th century, there were more than 300 coffeehouses established in London alone.
In the 1600s, coffee began its journey to America. While there were some coffeehouses available, tea continued to be the favoured drink. That is, until 1773, when the Boston Tea Party occurred.
The Boston Tea Party related to a heavy tax that the king placed on tea. Americans then decided to drink coffee to spite Britain, stating that drinking tea was simply unpatriotic.
As the popularity of the drink began to increase, coffee production slowly entered other tropical countries, where slave labour was used to cultivate coffee to massive proportions.
The Numerous Attempts to Ban Coffee
The Italians weren’t the only ones that tried to ban coffee over the years.
In the year 1511 in Mecca, the governor banned coffee; because he believed it promoted radical thinking, which in turn might have united people to turn against him. In Constantinople, Ghazi would often visit coffeehouses in disguise, to see what people were saying about him.
After he heard discouraging things from the people, he decided to punish them by banning both coffee and tobacco. In Prussia (don’t worry I didn’t know where Prussia was either. I’ll save you the Google search- Prussia was a German state that was dissolved in 1932), Frederick the Great felt that coffee was a luxury that common people were undeserving of; so he tried to encourage them to drink beer instead. They didn’t listen.
The last great attempt to ban coffee was a few months ago- when my friends held an intervention for the copious amount of coffee I drink on a daily basis. Thankfully, they were also unsuccessful.
The Effect of Sitcoms on Coffee Drinking
When I think of the word “sitcom,” the show that immediately comes to mind is Friends. Friends helped romanticise the modern idea of meeting friends at a special coffee shop. A huge percentage of the show’s plot takes place in or revolves around the now infamous, “Central Perk.”
The fictional coffee shop is so iconic that it has inspired countless real-life versions of itself; including one in Bombay.
Even more than Friends, when I hear the word “coffee,” my mind instantly goes to Gilmore Girls. Ninety percent of the issues and conflicts that take place in this show; from fights with parents, to arguments with best friends, to stressful school assignments; are resolved with a cup of coffee.
Once again, we see a romanticised idea of having a dependable, daily coffee spot to visit everyday.
Gilmore Girls has also produced hundreds of relatable java related quotes.
Although I’m attending college online for the moment, I’ve already done my research about the best coffee near campus.
The Starbucks Effect
We all know about Starbucks for being the largest, most unaffordable coffee chain in the world, but did you know that it is also widely known for impacting the real estate industry?
A study conducted between 1997 and 2014 showed that the value of residential property in the United States that was within a quarter-mile of a Starbucks chain rose by 96% compared to a measly 65% rise for property that was further away.
Meaning, the literal presence of coffee nearby could mean the difference between a million dollar house and a ten million dollar house.
Okay that’s an exaggeration, but you get my point.
If you would like to read more about the correlation between overpriced coffee and overpriced real estate, check out this article.
I think this might be one of the longest blog posts I have ever published! It’s also the one that required the most amount of research! I hope you enjoyed reading, and I hope you learned a little more about that mysterious brown powder that keeps us all happy and productive!
Check out my last few posts here!
- Father’s Day Traditions Around The World
- Borrowed Poems From An Anonymous- ‘Sacrifice’ and ‘The End?’
- Meet Jefe
- The Modern Day Julie/Julia Project- Pretzels
- One Year Blogiversary!
Thank you for reading!
Until Next Time.