From its origin in Ethiopia, coffee Arabica spread through the Ottoman Empire before reaching Europe, where in 17th century the coffee houses were being established. There, caffeinated consumers stayed awake for longer and were more animated, and this helped spread ideas and influence coffee culture.
Coffee became a colonial product, grown by slaves or indentured labor, with coffee Robusta replacing Arabica where various diseases had struck, and was traded exclusively by the Dutch and French empires. By the 19th century, Brazil had developed into a major coffee producing country, meeting demands in the USA that had grown on wagon trails. It’s remarkable how one small bean taken from tiny trees in Ethiopia could become the 2nd biggest commodity traded in the world today.
In the beginning rather than being a drink, coffee was just a snack. The discovery of the coffee is associated with a very strange story that probably emerged in the 17th century. Story of Kaldi, a goatherd that discovered the coffee back in 6th century, when he observed how excited his goats became after eating the beans from a coffee plant.
In Ottoman Empire coffeehouse was often used as a place to have conversation, to discuss politics, and sort of a place where you go in the afternoon to have strain-enhanced stress relaxation, and a part of ritual of buying coffee, preparing and serving coffee to the people spread and the consumption. So, the coffeehouses were developed in Ottoman Empire and there the coffee was not just used as a beverage or a commodity but also the way of consuming and sharing it to hold the conversation.
How did coffee spread to the West from Ottoman Empire?
Often the Ottoman merchants who sailed to the West that were moving into the rest of the Europe brought coffee along with them. The first record of having coffee in the Western Europe can be found in Venice; the death of an Ottoman Merchant in 1575 and as a part of the investigation a listing was made of all his effects which included his Coffee making paranoia.
Most usually the Armenians, the Christians who were living within the Ottoman Empire, frequently commuted into the Western Europe, and were identified as the people who established the first coffee roots into the European Society.
How was it important that coffee was non-alcoholic?
It was very important in the Ottoman Empire and Arabia because until that point in terms of social drinking had to be conducted over some sort of alcohol. So, once there was a drink that was doing the weightful as oppose to the sleeping, that obviously enabled it to be used in the settings such as work practices and places where negotiating and trading became the basis of early coffeehouses.