A Brief History of Coffee
600: Coffee makes its migration from Ethiopia to Arabia.
1000: The philosopher Avicenna first describes the medicinal qualities of coffee, which he refers to as bunchum.
1300: Islamic monks brew qawha, a brew of hot water and roasted coffee beans.
1470 – 1500: Coffee use spreads to Mecca and Medina.
1517: Sultan Selim I introduces coffee to Constantinople after conquering Egypt.
1554: Constantinople’s first coffee houses open.
1570 – 1580: Coffee houses in Constantinople ordered closed by religious authorities.
1600: Baba Budan, a Muslim pilgrim, introduces coffee to southern India.
1616: Coffee is brought from Mocha to Holland.
1645: The first coffee house opens in Venice.
1650: The first coffee house opens in England (at Oxford).
1658: The Dutch begin cultivating coffee in Ceylon (Sri Lanka).
1668: Coffee is introduced to North America.
1669: Coffee catches on in Paris when a Turkish ambassador spend a year at the court of Louis XIV.
1670: Coffee is introduced to Germany.
1674: The Women’s Petition Against Coffee is introduced in London.
1675: King Charles II orders all London coffee houses closed, calling them places of sedition.
1679: Marseilles’ physicians try to discredit coffee, claiming it is harmful to health.
The first coffee house in Germany opens in Hamburg.
1689: The first enduring Parisian café, Café de Procope, opens.
1696: The King’s Arms, New York’s first coffee house, opens.
1706: The first samples of coffee grown in Java are brought back to Amsterdam.
1714: A coffee plant, raised from a seed of the Java samples, is presented by the Dutch to Louis XIV and maintained in the Jardin des Plantes in Paris.
1720: The still-enduring Caffe Florian opens in Florence.
1723: Gabriel de Clieu brings a coffee seedling from France to Martinique.
1727: Francisco de Mello Palheta brings seeds and plants from French Guiana to Brazil.
1730: The English bring coffee cultivation to Brazil.
1732: Bach composes The Coffee Cantata, parodying the German panaroia over coffee’s growing popularity.
1777: Prussia’s Frederick the Great issues a manifesto denouncing coffee in favor of the national drink, beer.
1809: The first coffee imported from Brazil arrives in Salem, Mass.
1869: Coffee leaf rust appears in Ceylon. Within 10 years the disease destroys most of the plantations in India, Ceylon and other parts of Asia.
1873: The first successful national brand of packaged roast ground coffee, Ariosa, is marketed by John Arbuckle.
1882: The New York Coffee Exchange commences business.
1904: The modern espresso machine is invented by Fernando Illy.
1906: Brazil withholds some coffee from the market in an attempt to boost global prices
1910: German decaffeinated coffee is introduced to the U.S. by Merck & Co., under the name Dekafa.
1911: American coffee roasters organize into a national association, the precursor to the National Coffee Association.
1928: The Colombian Coffee Federation is established.
1938: Nestle technicians in Brazil invent Nescafe, the first commercially successful instant coffee.
1941 – 1945: U.S. troops bring instant coffee to a global audience.
1959: Juan Valdez becomes the face of Colombian coffee.
1962: Peak in American per-capita coffee consumption — more than three cups a day.
1964: First Tim Horton’s opens in Hamilton, Ont.
1971: First Starbucks opens in Seattle.
1973: First fair-trade coffee is imported to Europe from Guatemala.
1975: Global coffee prices rise dramatically after Brazil suffers a severe frost
Second Cup makes its debut in Canada.
1989: International Coffee Agreement collapses as world prices drop to an historic low.
Early 1990s: Specialty coffee catches on in the U.S.
Mid 1990s: Organic coffee becomes the fastest growing segment of the specialty coffee industry.
1997: Tim Horton’s introduces first specialty coffees, English Toffee and French Vanilla flavored cappuccinos.
1998: Starbucks approaches 2,000 U.S. outlets, with as many planned for Asia and Europe.