A short history of coffee

The history of coffee begins in Ethiopia, more than 1500 years ago, where the story goes that Kaldi, a goat-herd stated that his goats seemed to become more active when eating a type of wild berry! Kaldi introduced these berries to the priors of the community, Sufis at the neighbouring monastery. The brew produced with these berries allowed the religious practitioners to pray fervently for the whole night, with their spirit wide awake!

By the end of the 15th century, the use of coffee as a drink had already become a daily ritual and practice of Islamic culture.

By the middle of the 16th century, the Turks in turn adopted coffee and thus opened the door to the west.

In 1614, the East India Company put an end to the Arab monopoly of the production and trade in coffee when the first coffee cargo from Turkey arrived in Venice.

In 1645 the first European coffee house opened in Venice.

"Cafés" were henceforth to open throughout the world.

Consumption of coffee in Europe grew to such an extent that, at the beginning of the 18th century, the Dutch and French introduced coffee plantations in their colonies in Indonesia and in the Caribbean.

Amsterdam became the world capital of the coffee trade.

During the 19th century, production of coffee spread to Central and South America as well as Indonesia.

Brazil became the leading world producer at the beginning of the 20th century and that is still the case today. Organised plantations are also appearing in Africa.

Coffee is today, after petroleum, the second most important product traded on the market, and the leading international agricultural commodity.

The origin of the word coffee comes from the Arabic word "qahwa" meaning "arousing".

Originally a wild plant, the coffee tree is pruned on plantations so that it does exceed 2 to 3 metres in size. The leaves are pointed with a dark green colour and with superb white flowers which impart a delightful fragrance.

After blooming, the green berries turn red and are ready to be picked. It takes 5 years for a coffee tree to produce its first fruits, you can harvest 2.5 kg of berries per tree, which will give provide 500g of roasted coffee, with which you can make 65 cups!