The Humble Origin of Coffee

If you’re like us, you probably drink coffee on a daily basis and likely much more than just once a day. Whether it’s a part of your morning ritual as you head to work or school or plays a role in your social world, coffee is probably a staple in your daily life. For something that plays such a key role in your day, you may not know exactly where coffee originated. So, here’s a little history about your favorite beverage.

Origins of Coffee
Coffee’s history may go all the way back to the 10th century. The ethnic group Oromo is believed to have been the first to recognize the energizing properties of coffee. There’s evidence that coffee was consumed in the 15th century in Yemen within Sufi monasteries.

When the 16th century came around, coffee consumption spread across the rest of the Middle East, Turkey, Persia, northern Africa, and Horn of Africa. It then spread to Italy, the Balkans, and the rest of Europe. Eventually, it went to Indonesia and America.

In 1852, Brazil became the largest producer of coffee in the entire world, and remains a dominating force. Between 1850 and 1950, Brazil exported more coffee than any other country in the world. However, Brazil experienced a slowdown in production when other countries, including Ethiopia, Columbia, the Ivory Coast and Vietnam, started coming into the industry.

Vietnam is a newcomer to the game, but managed to overtake Columbia to become the world’s second largest coffee producer - reaching a 15% market share in 2011. India recently entered the coffee market. Coffee plantations continue to pop up in the southern part of the country.

Indonesia has also started to produce coffee, though 80% of their production ends up being exported to countries other than the US. Coffee consumption is also growing in Asia, with Japan leading in coffee consumption per capita.

No matter its origins, coffee has become one of the most popular beverages to consume. In some locations, you can find an independent coffeehouse or major chain on just about any corner. And you most likely have your favorite coffee place. When all else fails, the coffee aisle of any grocery store is filled with a variety of options. Coffee is an important part of our lives... One that most of us couldn't picture going without.