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Q: History of Coffee ( Answered,   7 Comments )
Subject: History of Coffee
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: brad31370-ga
List Price: $200.00
Posted: 31 Mar 2003 05:37 PST
Expires: 30 Apr 2003 06:37 PDT
Question ID: 183611
I would like information on the historical developments of trade in
coffee; social phenomenon associated with coffee, e.g., English coffee
houses; current details on where coffee is grown and consumption
figures; who trades coffee; how is coffee pricing set in the wholesale
market; trends in recent times for coffee consumption, e.g., coffee
franchises (Starbucks, etc.)(but not too much company specific
information), varieties of coffee; process of growing and roasting
coffee for consumption; effects of coffee consumption, e.g., caffeine,
on people, i.e., what it does to you.
Subject: Re: History of Coffee
Answered By: belindalevez-ga on 31 Mar 2003 08:25 PST
<The history of coffee.
I have given a brief outline of the history. Further details can be
seen by following the links given below.

Coffee was first grown commercially in the 15th century in Ethiopia.
By the 17th century the Dutch were commercially growing coffee on Java
(Indonesia). In 1723 coffee plants were introduced to the Caribbean
island of Martinique. The growing of coffee spread to central and
South America and Africa. By 1820, Brazil dominated world coffee
production. In 1990 Vietnam began producing coffee. In recent years a
café culture has re-emerged.

History of English coffee houses.
In 1600, priests petitioned the pope to ban coffee which they
considered to be the devil’s drink. Pope Clement VIII tried a cup of
coffee and liked it so much that he immediately baptised it.
Coffee was introduced to England from the Middle East. England’s first
coffee house opened in Oxford in 1650. The first London coffee house
opened in 1652.
In 1657 coffee was advertised as  a ‘Very Wholsom & Physical Drink,
With Excellent Vertues, Closes Orifice Of The Stomak, Fortifies The
Heat Within, Good Against Eye-Sores, Coughs, Colds, Rhumes,
Consumption, Head-Ach, Dropsie, Gout, Scurvy, Kings Evil & Other
Medical Ailments. Penned The Cure-All Of All Time’.

In 1674, London’s women petitioned against coffee due to the amount of
time their husbands spent there. In 1676 coffee houses were ordered to
close by King Charles. However there was a public outcry and the order
was revoked.

The hey day of the coffee house in London was in the 18th century when
there were around 2,500 in the centre of London. They were popular
meeting places for men which became known as penny universities due to
the wealth of knowledge that could be gained over a cup of coffee.
There was fierce competition for customers amongst the coffee shop
owners who would theme their establishments around a particular
business. One of London’s most famous businesses, Lloyds of London
emerged from this culture. Mr Lloyd’s coffee house displayed a list of
ships and their cargos, making it a popular meeting place for
For more details see:

Decent traces the history of coffee from its ancient roots
through to the present day. It includes a section on coffee houses.

The Roast and Post Coffee Company site has a collection of coffee
related trivia. For example the practice of tipping waiters and
waitresses started in English coffee houses. For better service and
the best seats customers would put money in a box marked ‘To Insure
Prompt Service’ or ‘Tips’ for short.

Stockbrokers would meet in Jonathan’s Coffee House in Change Alley –
it became the London Stock Exchange. For more see

Where coffee is grown.
The lucid café sight gives a country by country account of where
coffee is grown.

The issues surrounding organic coffee are explained at.

Changes in the growing of coffee from growing under shade to growing
in sun.

Types of coffee
The two main types of coffee are robusto and arabica. The robusto is
the most common. It is grown at low altitudes. The plants grow to a
height of 18-24 inches. Arabica grows at high altitude on a bush that
reaches around eight feet in height.

World coffee production and trade 1999

How coffee prices are set
A detailed explanation of how coffee prices are set is given at

Historical indicator prices

The effect of frost.

Exportation statistics

Production statistics


The problems associated with growing coffee are explained at

The issues around fair trade coffee are explained at

Coffee consumption
Worlwide coffee consumption statistics
Coffee consumption in the U.S.
Italian coffee consumption

Trends in coffee consumption
The trend in coffee shops
Coffee culture

Coffee statistics
Coffee importation statistics
Exportation statistics
Production statistics

The growing of coffee
Growing coffee
Environmental conditions for growing coffee
Harvesting coffee
Processing coffee
Drying coffee

The problems associated with growing coffee are explained at

The issues around fair trade coffee are explained at

Side effects of coffee.

Coffee associations>

<Search strategy:>
<"coffee houses" history>

<"coffee production" "by country">

<"coffee prices are set">

<"coffee consumption">

<"coffee consumption" side effects>

<Hope this helps.>

Request for Answer Clarification by brad31370-ga on 31 Mar 2003 08:52 PST
While I am happy with the detail of the information provided, I was
told that for $200 there would at least be 4 hours of work, and a
comprehensive response.  At best all I have received is a summary of a
few key points and references to several websites, many of which are
common to my questions.  I would expect to receive quite a bit more
information, as there must be many other sites available that have
information and I had expected a more comprehensive and detailed
response.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Clarification of Answer by belindalevez-ga on 01 Apr 2003 04:32 PST
<Under google guidelines, I am restricted as to what I can quote from
websites that provide answers to your questions. I am allowed to
briefly paraphrase small portions of other works and able to use very
short excerpts.

I have found more sources of relevant material as follows:

In England’s coffee houses, a cup of coffee cost a penny and was
thought to cure minor ailments. The coffee houses became a place where
people would meet and discuss contemporary events. By 1659, the
Miles’s coffee-house became a meeting place of James Harrington’s
debating society, ‘Rota’ where politics was discussed. Scholars and
doctors gathered in the Latine coffee-house. The literature of the
time contains references to coffee-houses. News from the Coffee-house
(1667) says that in some places the conversation turned on city
fashions, foibles and affairs of the state. The Coffee-houses
Vindicated (1675) asks ‘
Now whither shall a person, wearied with hard study, or the laborious
turmoils of a tedious day, repair to refresh himself? or where can
young gentlemen, or shop-keepers, more innocently and advantageously
spend an hour or two in the evening, than at a coffee-house? … To read
men is acknowledged more useful than books; but where is there a
better library for that study, generally than here; among such a
variety of humours, all expressing themselves on divers subjects
according to their respective abilities?’ The article continues with
quotes from more literature of the time. number of rumours associated
with coffee are quoted at number of coffee quotes
are given at
"Without my morning coffee I'm just like a dried up piece of roast
goat."Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)"A PROCLAMATION FOR THE
SUPPRESSION OF COFFEE HOUSES: Whereas it is most apparent that the
multitude of Coffee Houses of late years set up and kept within this
Kingdom...and the great resort of idle and disaffected persons to
them, have produced very evil and dangerous effects; as well for that
many tradesmen and others, do herein misspend much of their time,
which might and probably would be employed in and about their Lawful
Calling and Affairs; but also for that in such houses...divers, false,
malitious, and scandalous reports are devised and spread abroad to the
Defamation of His Majesty's Government, and to the disturbance of the
Peace and Quiet of the Realm; his Majesty hath though it fit and
necessary, that the said Coffee Houses be (for the Future) put down
and suppressed..."King Charles II of England, December 23, 1675“As
soon as coffee is in your stomach, there is a general commotion. Ideas
begin to move...similes arise, the paper is covered. Coffee is your
ally and writing ceases to be a struggle.”Honoré de Balzac
(1799-1859)Coffee leads men to trifle away their time, scald their
chops, and spend their money, all for a little base, black, thick,
nasty, bitter, stinking nauseous puddle water.”The Women's Petition
Against Coffee (1674)"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; if
this is tea, please bring me some coffee."Abraham LincolnThe legend
recounting the discovery of coffee is recounted by Colleen Grove. An
Ethiopian goat herder called Kaldi noticed his goats acting strangely,
frolicking and dancing after eating berries from a tree. Kaldi tried
the berries and felt exhilarated. Monks from a nearby monastery also
tried the berries. They were found to help them stay alert during
night-time prayers leading to the use of the berries spreading
throughout religious communities. The origins of the name coffee and
its early cultivation are also described. introduction
to the coffee-house: a discursive model gives a number of
contemporary quotes. It includes a copy of the poem ‘The rules and
orders of the coffee-house’Coffee-Houses of Old London gives
contemporary accounts and etchings showing caricatures, an
illustration of Tom’s coffee-house, and Lloyd’s coffee-house First English
early coffee trade is described at In 1844 a writer, Harris, claimed
that the coffee trade started in Ethiopia some five hundred years
earlier with the transportation of coffee from Ethiopia to Arabia.
This story was confirmed by an Etiopian monk Brother Thomas who
described the trade route.A brief history of coffee tells how coffee
was thought to be introduced to Yemen via trade routes across the Gulf
of Aden. It traces the spread of coffee throughout muslim world.
Jaziri, a 16th century scholar explains "At the beginning of this
century, the news reached us in Egypt that a drink, called qahwa, had
spread in the Yemen and was being used by Sufti shaykhs and others to
help them stay awake during their devotional exercises, which they
perform according to their well-known Way. Then it reached us,
sometime later, that its appearance and spread there had been due to
the efforts of the learned shaykh, imam, mufti, and Sufi...
al-Dhabhani. We heard that he had been in charge of the critical
review of fatwas in Aden, which at that time was a job whose holder
decided whether fatwas were sound or in need of revision, which he
would indicate at the bottom of the document in his own hand. The
reason for his introducing coffee, according to what we heard, was
that some affair had forced him to leave Aden and go to Ethiopia,
where he stayed for some time. He found the people using qahwa, though
he knew nothing of its characteristics. After he had returned to Aden,
he fell ill, and remembering, he drank it and benefited by it. He
found that among its properties was that it drove away fatigue and
lethargy, and brought to the body a certain sprightliness and vigor.
In consequence, when he became a Sufi, he and other Sufis in Aden
began to use the beverage made from it, as we have said. Then the
whole people- both the learned and the common- followed in drinking
it, seeking help in study and other vocations and crafts, so that it
continued to spread." The Turks are thought to have introduced the
drink to Europe. In 1615, a Venetian wrote A Venetian in 1615 wrote,
"The Turks have a drink of black color, which during the summer is
very cooling, whereas in the winter it heats and warms the body,
remaining always the same beverage and not changing its substance.
They swallow it hot as it comes from the fire and they drink it in
long draughts, not at dinner time, but as a kind of dainty and sipped
slowly while talking with one's friends. One cannot find any meetings
among them where they drink it not..."
According to Dr. Jeff Lindenbaum in recent years coffee houses have
become popular with teenagers. He explains how caffeine can affect
teenagers. It is a stimulant drug as it increases activity in the
central nervous system. A dose of over 350 milligrams per day can
result in physical dependency on caffeine. This is equivalent to
approximately three, six ounce cups of coffee. Caffeine causes a range
of symptoms including sleeplessness, jittery sensations, racing
heartbeat, upset stomach and headaches. In greater quantities (600
milligrams per day) it can cause stomach ulcers, irregular heartbeat,
raised blood pressure and insomnia. Caffeine dependency can be
diagnosed by stopping consumption of coffee for one day. If this
results in a throbbing headache that is relieved by a cup of coffee
then this is an indication that the person is caffeine dependant.

The article also goes on to dispel some of the myths about drinking

<Hope this helps.>
Subject: Re: History of Coffee
From: kemlo-ga on 31 Mar 2003 09:19 PST
Ther is only so much on the net, if it's not there you'r not going to have it.
Subject: Re: History of Coffee
From: missy-ga on 31 Mar 2003 10:33 PST
Hi Kemlo,

While it's certainly true that not all information is avaliable
online, we aren't restricted to using the 'Net for our research.  Many
of us also make trips to various libraries and use references from our
own personal bookshelves and the results of telephone calls to ensure
that our customers get good, solid information.

If it's not on the 'Net, it just means that one has to look elsewhere.

Subject: Re: History of Coffee
From: claudietta-ga on 31 Mar 2003 10:36 PST
I just read a related book, Forgotten Elegance, which is a historical
and social perspective on the consuption of tea, coffee, and
chocolate, during the Victorian age.  I think it's mostly on tea,
don't remember the author, and I took it out of the university

I thought you might find this useful, in case you are in the area you
should check it out,
Subject: Re: History of Coffee
From: larre-ga on 31 Mar 2003 10:57 PST
I'm sorry my colleague has been unable to locate the depth of
information you are seeking. There are comprehensive statistics and
trend analysis available from a variety of trade organizations,
growers, production entities and coffee affecianados. Perhaps the
following sample history link might be useful.

Subject: Re: History of Coffee
From: voila-ga on 31 Mar 2003 11:40 PST
Here are my java-related bookmarks as well.  Hope they're helpful.
Subject: Re: History of Coffee
From: abdalla1234-ga on 08 Apr 2003 12:53 PDT
I think that the information regarding the new history of coffee are
quite good, however, there is nothing mentioned about the history of
coffee before the 15th.
So, I would like to add that coffee was planted in the Yemen and
Arabia as I know, more than 1500 years ago, and thats why the name
"coffee" is related to the arabic word "Kahwa" , which means
"Something which is used aside the meal".
In addition to this, there is the Arabic style of coffee, whihc is 
concentrated , it is roasted crushed coffee peans boiled with cardamom
for a long period of time.
Subject: Re: History of Coffee
From: intotravel-ga on 11 Apr 2003 17:32 PDT
Coffee -- cultural trends
In Paris, and in France in general, there has been a trend towards
coffee shops where people gather to smoke on a hookah (a.k.a water
pipes - shisha pipe - hubbly-bubbly - sheesha - narghila). They have
been called "neo-orientalist cafes," or in French "cafés à chichas".
In two years, reported Le Nouvel Observateur (sometime in 2000, 2001),
the number of such cafes tripled to about thirty.

More info from the following websites:  Salons
have opened their doors in big provincial cities like Lyon or
Marseilles. An amateur told us that in the latter, for example, he
envisages to open a "cultural café" the service of which will focus on
narghile. He informed us that there would be, to date, three active
establishments of this type. As for Paris and its region, the number
of neo-Orientalist cafés is growing continuously. May we mention here:
""Umm Kelthûm" and "Imhotep" ("The Egyptian café") in the vicinity of
Mouffetard Street (5th district; Censier Tube station); "Le Grand
Bleu" (intimate and Tunisian atmosphere vouched for) and, by its side,
"Le Sultan" (19th district; Couronnes Tube station); "Le sable doré"
in the Saint-Lazare area (9th district; Notre-Dame de Lorette Tube
station); Shéhérazade in Chartres. Persian or Arabic are not
inevitably spoken but rather French, English and other European
languages. Patrons plays chess or draughts and since one must not
forget that narghile is a conversation catalyst, they chat a lot. The
interior decoration may be modest; no matter, sophistication is not
necessary.  Eastern
coffeehouses underwent the shock of modernity and evolved in several
directions. Some of them became cafés in the European way. ....
Revival. Today, narghile smoking is flourishing in societies of the
Arabian-Islamic world as well as in those of Europe and America. In
the latter, new coffeehouses, that we term "neo-Orientalist cafés",
are opening out. ... a list of such
cafes in Paris. ... Chacun cherche sa
chicha,  article on chichas mania in Paris. I went here -- --- and pasted copy from the article to
get a translation.

History of Coffee
================= The History of

It may seem strange but coffee hasn't been around forever! In fact it
was not discovered until around 600AD in the Middle East and only came
into Europe in the 16th Century. In the 500 or so years since then it
has spread around the world and become an international trade.

We've attempted to collate as much of the history of coffee as we
could find here into the site and divided it up into five distinctive
time spans - the ancient legends of the discovery of coffee, the early
years of coffee consumption, its move into Europe, the cultivation in
the colonies abroad and finally coffee in the modern day.

Coffee Legend  
The Early Years  
Coffee In Europe  
Cultivation in the Colonies  
The 20th Century  
{You already have this url, in the answer above.}

Coffee - cultural trends: Europe v. America
This is just observation, but in the American Midwest people seem to
drink very little coffee. The standard coffee is watery, and the "good
coffee" is bitter: I find Starbucks, in general, bitter; also
Einstein's coffee. People don't seem to really care about coffee the
way Europeans do; and you'll often get someone selling you coffee who
doesn't drink it themselves.

The really good coffee to be had in America is probably in the big
cities (?); but then if the standard is Starbucks ... hmmm.

Europeans, the ones I know, Dutch and Polish and Irish, tend to like
coffee with flavor, full-bodied, strong coffee. I know that the coffee
a Spanish friend of mine likes is bitter, and for that reason does
require sugar to taste okay.

The really good coffee I've drunk in America in the last year or so
has been at airports, in Albuquerque and in Cincinnati (organic
coffee, next to the Starbucks).

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