Believe it or not, people have been consuming coffee for literally thousands and thousands of years.
Sure, early versions of coffee aren’t anywhere near like the coffee that we drink today (people just didn’t spend that much time roasting their beans, choosing heirloom variations of the beans to roast in the first place, or taking advantage of advanced coffee making technology like we have today) – but the odds are pretty good that your great, great, great, great, GREAT grandfather or grandmother were sipping on a good old-fashioned cup of Joe a few hundred years ago.
The very first cup of coffee
While it is impossible for historians to really put a specific time when the first cup of coffee was served (and whether or not it was served by a waitress chewing gum and scribbling on a tiny little notepad in a dirty little cave somewhere), most historians and researchers agree that it was likely that the first cup of coffee was drink in the Red Sea region around 700 A.D. One thing’s for sure it certainly wasn’t brewed using a coffee maker like those available today.
Arab people are assumed to be the first people to start drinking coffee on a regular and routine basis, and it has remained a staple of their culture even today.
Arab trade ships headed east as well as west were always fully stocked with a complete and total supply of coffee beans to be roasted and enjoy (as well as coffee to be traded), and for a while it was one of the most expensive luxuries on the planet.
On top of earning a cultural status as an important and influential beverage in the Arab world, coffee was also regarded as a medicine between 1200 A.D. and about 1500 A.D. Much of the highest quality coffee produced in its early history came out of Yemen, a country that continues to produce incredibly high quality coffee today – alongside some not so beneficial “herbal” products and drugs.
Coffee shops explode in popularity
Right around the late 1400s in Constantinople coffee shops became incredibly popular, one of the hottest “eateries” in the area. More and more people flocked to these kinds of coffee shops to take part in socialization, game playing, gossiping, and of course to drink a fantastic cup of Joe – and it wasn’t all that long until other countries in the region started to implement their own coffee shops as well.
It wasn’t until the early 1600s that coffee shops really began to explode in popularity in Europe, with the first few a very, very popular (and wildly successful) coffee shops opening up in Venice. Turkish warriors helped to usher coffee shops into regions like the Balkans, Spain, and even North Africa – but those Venice coffee shops became incredibly influential for coffee drinkers in Europe.
Today, it’s absolutely impossible to walk into any major city (and most of the smaller towns as well) anywhere on the globe and not find a handful of coffee shops serving this delicious beverage.
Coffee is almost as common as water, and the future has never looked brighter for this amazing brown beverage.