The Origin Of Coffee

Coffee history facts.
May 16, 2023 by
The Origin Of Coffee
Solai Coffee LLC, Peter Kuria
| 1 Comment

Have you ever wondered where coffee originated?

The history of coffee is a fascinating story. Coffee beans have moved worldwide for centuries and greatly impacted the global economy. 

Well, get prepared to explore the sensation of coffee, how and where coffee originated. People need to find out how or when they discovered coffee exactly. However, several brief legends explain the origin of coffee.

The history of coffee is dated back to the colonial era and grown mainly as a cash crop.

An image of The British colonial era drying coffee.

History of Coffee

A legend in Ethiopia declares that Kaldi, a goat herder, discovered coffee beans and their effects in the 9th century. The narrative states that Kaldi discovered coffee after noticing how energetic his goats became after consuming the beans. The goats were so active that they could not even sleep. 

Kaldi announced his discovery to local monks, who declared the coffee beans the devil’s work and threw them into the fire. The fragrance of the roasting beans was divine, and the beans were removed from the fire and preserved. The monks drank coffee, which kept them alert during their evening devotions. 

They began sharing their knowledge of coffee with other monks, and the news spread. A word about coffee traveled to the east and arrived in Arabian Peninsula and then to the world.

Green bean coffee stored in ware house in Sisal bags ready to be exported worldwide.

Green bean coffee stored in ware house in Sisal bags ready to be exported worldwide.

Cultivation and trading of coffee

It is believed that the cultivation and trading of coffee started in the Arabian Peninsula receiving the name Arabica. At first, they used coffee for religious and medicinal purposes until later, coffee became popular and made a part of their daily lives. In the 15th century, Muslim believers touring the Holy City of Mecca broadened the appeal of coffee, and it spread rapidly. They traded across Egypt, Persia, North America, and Turkey. By the 16th century, there were coffee houses across the Muslim regions.

Introduction of Coffee to Europe

Coffee was pioneered in Europe in the 16th century on the island of Malta. This introduction was brought about by slavery. Enslaved Muslims from Turkey who Knights of St John imprisoned used to make themselves coffee drinks.
Some Europeans responded to coffee with fear and called "it" the bitter invention of Satan.

The church criticized coffee when it arrived in Venice in the 17th century. The dispute was so huge that Pope Clement VIII was requested to intercede. He tasted the drink, found it fulfilling, and approved its use. Despite that argument, coffee houses thrived rapidly in Austria, England, Germany, France, and Holland.

Coffee started to reinstate beer and wine, which were the regular breakfast drinks of that time. People who drank coffee in place of alcohol reported that they felt energetic, and their work quality improved greatly.
By the mid-17th century, London hosted more than 300 coffee houses. The coffee business started to thrive.

Introduction of Coffee to America

Coffee was introduced by the British to New York in the 17th century. Although coffee houses had started to develop, tea dominated there until the 18th century, when pioneers rebelled against the heavy tax imposed on tea by King George III. Thus transformed the American drinking desire for coffee, increasing the demand for coffee and the cultivation of coffee expanded. By the 18th century, news about coffee had spread across America, and coffee houses thrived.

The Bean Belt is the horizontal strip between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.

The Coffee Bean Belt map highlighting the countries and regions where coffee is grown.

Introduction of Coffee to the rest of the world

Coffee history in Asia is similar to the history of coffee in America and Europe. They all started due to a crime. Coffee in India was introduced by a man called Baba Budan in the early 17th century. He obtained coffee seeds during his tour to Mecca and brought them. He planted them in the hill town of Chikmagalur, Karnataka. 

Coffee became popular and established in India in the 19th century, and they started exporting to Europe. In the Philippines, a Spanish monk introduced coffee in the 18th century. After this, it spread across the country by the 19th century. They began exporting coffee to San Francisco and Europe.


We get a picture of how, where, and when our favorite beverage came from the above narratives. Humans have consumed coffee for about 500 years now. Furthermore to better understand the origins of coffee, you need to visualize the bean belt. 

The Bean Belt is the horizontal strip between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. The following are regions that fall in between the two stripes.

  • Central American – Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvador, Jamaica, Puerto Rico.
  • South American – Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru
    Africa & Arabia – Burundi, Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe
    Indonesia – Java, Sumatra, Papua Guinea
    Southeast Asia – Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar
    Australia – North Queensland, South East Queensland.

Enjoy every origin and culture 

in a fresh cup of coffee

The Origin Of Coffee
Solai Coffee LLC, Peter Kuria May 16, 2023
Share this post
Sign in to leave a comment