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The History of Coffee

Like all legends, the origin of the introduction of coffee is very much disputed. However, the historians seem to agree on one point: it is very likely that a wild genus of the coffee plant grew already in the 13th century on the impassable range of hills on the coast of Yemen. It is reported that a group of hermits, who lived on farming and cattle breeding, noticed that their goats became so energetic that they did not want to sleep at night, when they had eaten certain leaves and berries from an evergreen bush before. So it happened that monks used this plant for food and beverage.

The stimulant drink called "Arabic Coffee" in ancient times spread across the Egyptian and later across the Turk population. In fact, the ancient Yemen has been conquered by the Ethiopians in the 16th century, followed by the Persians and Arabs, and finally by the Ottomans.

Chronology of Coffee House Culture

1554 the first coffee house opened in Constantinople (Istanbul today)
1647 the first coffee house in Venice on St. Mark's Square (Piazza San Marco)
1650 the coffee reached Marseille, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Paris and London
1685 Armenian Johannes Theodat opened the first coffee house in Vienna
1720 Café "Florian" established in Venice.
1723 Café "Aurora" established in Venice.
1760 Café "Greco" established in Rome.
1733 Café "Gilli" opened in Florence
1815 Café "Giacosa" opened in Florence
1882 Café "Rivoire" opened in Florence
1900 600th coffee house opened in Vienna

18th century until today

At the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century plantations with about 20 million coffee trees spread across the island of Martinique, the seeds of which had been introduced from the glasshouses of Versailles by naval officer Mathieu de Cliau. Starting from Martinique, the plantations spread also across the other islands of the Lesser Antilles and reached a production output that met 75% of the European demand in a short time. From this moment on, the "Oriental Coffee" severely declined. Today, almost all coffee is produced in Central America, Brazil, and the tropical regions in South America. The global coffee production reaches around 100 million sacks per year, with Brazil in first place contributing around 25% of the production, with an own consumption of 9 million sacks.