The History of Coffee and 6 things you probably never knew

Coffee, the history and how it all Started......

Have you ever wondered where our first love of coffee all started, well you have hopefully come to the right page.

History of Coffee Infographic


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The History of Coffee

 The coffee plant was supposedly first discovered in Ethiopia, unsure on the date but legend says when a shepherd named Kaldi watching his herd of goats noticed they were unusually rather lively and full of energy. Upon some Sherlock Holmes style investigation, he decided it was a side effect from the red berries they were eating (the coffee berry) and decided to try some himself and was taken by the affects of the magical caffeine fuel bean. Coffee History Goat


Coffee Monks  A short time after Kaldi bumped into a monk that was passing through and decided to tell the traveller all about the red berries with the amazing properties, the monk was obviously very interested and agreed to try them for himself and was impressed with the vitalizing effects and probably didn’t get much sleep that night. This clever monk decided to dry out and boil the berries in a valiant attempt to make an enjoyable beverage and share it with his fellow monks and guess what, they all loved it!

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The love of coffee soon grew, and the amazing find Kaldi found soon started to travel far and wide, as by the 15th century coffee was being happily consumed in the Sufi monasteries of Yemen and spreading to Cairo and Mecca. The Coffee buzz had taken hold and by the 16th century it had travelled to the middle east, filling the cups of many folk in South India, Turkey, Persia and parts of Africa.

The love of coffee showed no sign of slowing down and by the late 16th century these magical beans had made their way to Italy and spread throughout Europe like wildfire, in 1651 the first coffee house of England opened its doors in Oxford and soon the rest of the country followed suit and towns throughout began to setup shop.

Coffee Ship


London Coffee  

By the end of the 17th century coffee had truly taken over England with hundreds of venues selling the delicious beverage, the first coffee house opened in London in 1652 followed by a well-known name of today “Lloyds who opened their coffee house doors in the 18th century and this became their first centre base offering marine insurance. 

The craze had past and by the mid-18th century the coffee boom had slowed down, and gentlemen’s club had taken the place of coffee houses for merchants to do their business, socialize and chat.


 America had also taken a fancy to the energetic coffee bean and the first coffee house opened in Boston, Massachusetts in 1689 followed by one in New York in 1737. Coffee became much more of a popular choice in America due to the famous Boston Tea party of 1773, this party started as a protest against the British tax on the trade of Tea and in turn may had a large role on starting the ball rolling for Americas declaration of independence. Boston Coffee


Coffee Plantations

In the early 18th century the Dutch started to pave the way for coffee plantations and started growing coffee in Indonesia, soon after Brazil followed suit and by the 19th century coffee plantations were abundant in Brazil and Uganda.


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Inventors who helped us enjoy coffee in a better way.


The first patented coffee percolator was invented by James Mason in 1865.

The first known coffee percolator was thought to made by a British soldier and scientist, Sir Benjamin Thompson that came up with the design some years before, however there is very little information to be found about his version of the percolator.

James Mason coffee percolator patent was for a downflow method, which didn’t use rising steam in the percolation process, but this did help pave the way for another American called Hanson Goodrich to refine and better the design and in 1889 he came up with a system very similar to the stove top percolators that are still in use today.

Coffee Perculator

Instant Coffee was invented in 1890 by David Strang of New Zealand.

The start of instant coffee drew its first breath in 1771 around 200 years after coffee was first introduced to Europe.

A fellow called John Dring was granted a patent by the British government for something known as Coffee Compound, the process continued to evolve and in 1850 the company “Folgers that was founded in San Francisco and created the first canned roasted ground beans to by especially marketed to miners during the gold rush of America.

 David Strang was the first to invent and patent a soluble coffee using a technique he called “dry hot Air” this was later perfected by a Chemist called Satori Kato that successfully created the first stable soluble coffee powder in Chicago.

 The coffee powder produced by Satori Kato was then commercialized by George Constant Louis Washington (A Belgium born American businessman and inventor) and soon after gained popularity as a ration for the US military in World War 1.

Instant Coffee

Freeze dried coffee was invented in 1938.

In the 1930s Brazil had a large surplus of coffee beans and in an effort to help raise profit and ease storage issues they asked the company “Nestle” to create a soluble coffee product. Nestle took on this task and in 1938 came up with a freeze-dried soluble coffee they called “Nescafe” however it wasn’t until the 1980s that they really got the process truly refined in order to keep a degree of quality and taste of the coffee when freeze drying was perfected.

Freeze Dried Coffee

Decaffeinated coffee was invented in 1903 by Ludwig Roselius.

The first isolation of pure caffeine was was performed in 1820 by a man called Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge. Friedlieb managed to isolate the compound but never sought out to use the the process for commercial benefit.

The first decaffeination process invented for commercial use was invented by Ludwig Roselius and his co workers in 1903, it was then patented in 1906.

Ludwig stumbled on to decaffeinated coffee by accident when his freight of coffee beans had been unintentionally soaked with sea water, this accident caused the coffee beans to lose a most of its caffeine content while maintaining the vast majority of its original flavour.

Ludwig refined the process by using benzene as a solvent to remove caffeine and started to sell and market decaffeinated coffee under the trading name Kaffee HAG.

Decaffeinated Coffee

The Coffee Filter was invented in 1908 by Melitta Bentz.

A house wife called Melitta Bentz found that percolators tended to over brew coffee and as espresso machines at the time left grounds in the the coffee drink and linen bag filter were a pain to clean she sought to find a better solution. Melitta started to experiment with different alternatives to filter coffee and found that using blotting paper from her sons’ school excersice books together with a brass pot that had been perforated using a nail made ground free and less bitter coffee.

Melitta decided to set up a business and in 1908 she got her patnet passed for the filter began to produce the new style coffee filters. The company was a success and by 1928 they had a staff of 80 workers and had produced and sold over 100000 filters.

Coffee Filter

The first practical Espresso machine was invented in 1946 by Achille Gaggia.

The first operational espresso machine was created in 1901 by an Italian inventor by the name of Luigi Bezzera, it was a steam powered machine that could reduce the brew to around 30 seconds. These machines became very popular throughout Italy and throughout the 1920s-30s inventors pushed on to create better espresso machines with increased brewing pressure and practicabilty, in 1946 Achille Gaggia had nailed it.

The espresso machine invented by Achille had a lever that when pressed down, cooled the water from boiling to perfect brewing temperature resulting in a better extraction and an added layer of crema.

Espresso Machine


Where did our coffee recipes come from?


The Cappuccino

The Italian coffee prepared with espresso is over 100 years old.  The name “Cappuccino is said to originate from the Kapuzin friars in Vienna, due to the coffee and milk reassembling the same colour as their brown robes. The word “Capuchin” means hood in Italian and this was the name used for the monks due to their hooded robe.

The first real reference of the cappuccino was in the 1930s where it grew in popularity in café’s around Italy.

Cappuccinos are a popular go-to drink, but the Italians tend to regulate as their go to breakfast beverage only.

Cappuccino Coffee

Latte Coffee  

The Latte

The Latte or Italian Latto was first described by William dean Howells in 1867 and is thought to be an American invention.

 The Americano

The origin of Americano is thought to start during world war 2, Americans enjoyed coffee, but found the espresso too strong for their liking and went on to add more hot water to the beverage.

Americano Coffee

Mocha Coffee


The Mocha

The exact origin of the “Mocha” is still in debate. The first written reference was made in 1454 by Sheikh Gemaleddin Abou Muhammad Bensaid when he made a trip to Abyssinia. The name “Mocha comes from of a port in Yemen which was the place of where the main majority of the coffee grown was shipped.


Cold Brew Coffee

The first real documented reference for the origin of cold brew came from the dutch in the 17th century, where Dutch sailors needed a simpler was to brew and preserve their coffee for when they were away at sea for long periods of time. Although they stored it cold, it is thought they more than likely reheated it before drinking it.

Cold Brew Coffee

I hope you have enjoyed reading this bit of trivia, I have tried to keep it as accurate as possible and done a lot of research before writing. Feel free to comment below if you liked or even disliked it, Thanks Coffee Allstar



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