The inspiring and tantalizing taste of coffee
Coffee is great! Let’s make it greater!
Coffee is far more than just a delightful and energizing beverage. We enjoy nothing more than to start the day with a delicious, steaming cup of freshly brewed coffee. Such a superb aroma, a stimulating taste of looking forward to day’s start with coffee, has become a vital part of our daily routine.
Coffee is more complex than just a simple beverage. As much as you learn about it, you get more enjoyment. Let’s start with the short history of the coffee. Then, learn about the history of coffee quality in the US.
History of Coffee
We do not know exactly how the history of coffee has been started. There are many legends about the introduction of coffee. The most famous one is a tale of a goat shepherd whose name is Kaldi. Kaldi noticed excessive energy with his goats whenever they ate bright red berries of a certain dark-leafed shrub. After exploring the reason behind goats’ energy and sharing it with others, the amazing story of the coffee has been started.
Coffee as a drink was born in Ethiopia. First, it was spread to the Arabian Peninsula among Muslim populations. Because alcohol is prohibited in Islam, coffee was a good alternative to alcoholic beverages. So, Muslims loved coffee.
Hajj requirement in Islam has played a major role in the fast spread of coffee. Muslims are required to visit Kaaba. So, Mecca is a religious center for Muslims. Thousands of Muslims visit Mecca every year to perform their Hajj requirement. Hajj enables Muslims to come together and sharing best practices and products between different cultural and economical backgrounds.
During the interactions during the Hajj, Muslims from different counties were introduced to coffee. When they go back to their hometowns after the Hajj, they also took the coffee beans with them. So, coffee has become widespread in Muslim countries first.
Turks have played an active role in introducing coffee to Europeans. The Ottoman Empire was located between Asia and Europe. Europeans have witnessed this black and bitter drink during their relations with Turks. Europeans also loved this new drink. So, coffee and coffee houses have spread out in Europe very fast.
Coffee in the US
Coffee was introduced into North America in 1668. New York’s first coffeehouse, the King’s Arms, was opened in 1696. In its first years, coffee was not a popular drink since Americans have a strong tea-drinking culture. However, coffee houses were still popped up all around Boston and New York areas.
In the 1770s, the British Parliament imposed additional taxes for tea and some other major products on American colonists. These taxes initiated protests and fights thereafter. Colonists emptied the tons of tea into Boston Harbor, which is known as The Boston Tea Party. These incidents changed the coffee’s fade in America. Americans started to drink coffee instead of tea. Switching from tea to coffee became something of American patriotism.
After coffee cultivation was started in South America, America has become a good market for coffee producers, especially for Brazil. The alcohol prohibition from 1920 and 1933 accelerated coffee drinking in the US. Specifically, the instant coffee usage during World War I and World War II has made coffee the most favorite drink in America.
Americans have used low-quality Brazil coffee for many years. Because of its low price, Americans have drunk Brazil’s low-quality Robusta coffee beans for many years. Since instant coffee is also made with cheap Robust coffee beans, Americans continued to drink low quality coffee with instant coffee.
Peet’s Coffee & Tea: “The big bang of specialty coffee”
Dutch roaster Alfred Peet introduced Americans to quality coffee. Peet was so disappointed with the quality of coffee in the US when he first came to America. He says that “I couldn’t understand why in the richest country in the world they were drinking such poor-quality coffee.” In 1965, Peet opened the Peet’s Coffee & Tea and started selling roasted high-quality Arabica coffee beans, using the money inherited from his father, at the corner of Vine and Walnut Streets in Berkeley, California. He made the coffee the European way, roasted his coffee dark, and brewed it strong.
The founders of Starbucks were also inspired by Peet. Peet trained the original three Starbucks founders on how to cup, to roast, and to blend coffee. Starbucks has purchased its quality roasted beans from Peets in its first years of business.
Alfred Peet has pioneered the specialty coffee revolution in America. Peet also inspired and mentored Starbucks founders. Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegl, and Gordon Bowker, Starbucks founders, posing with the cups of coffee outside of the “original Starbucks,” Seattle, February 1979.
Starbucks was founded by Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegl, and Gordon Bowker in 1971. Gordon was a writer, Jerry was an English teacher, and Zev was a history teacher. It was a time of low-quality coffee everywhere. Most companies in the market we’re competing harder and harder by keeping prices low. The price competition had reduced coffee quality to disastrously low levels
Jery, Zev, and Gordon cared about the quality of the coffee. So, they decided to sell higher-quality arabica coffee beans in Seattle as Peets in California. They open the first Starbucks Coffee, Tea, and Spices store in the trendy Seattle Pike Place Market. The original purpose of the store was to sell gourmet coffee beans, along with coffee-related merchandise and equipment. Their business grew in a short time. After a while, the founders decided to sell Starbucks and withdraw from the business.
Howard Shultz acquired Starbucks in 1987. With his visionary concepts, the wheels were set in motion to lead this local roaster and coffee retailer to become a global coffee empire.
The original Starbucks had two missions:
- Providing world-class coffee
- Educating its customers, one on one, about what great coffee can be
In its first years, Starbucks was offering customers samples to taste before they buy coffee beans. While customers drink the samples, they could listen to Jerry, Zev, and/or Gordon talking about the coffee. Education was an essential part of Starbucks’ mission.
As you learn more about coffee, you love coffee even more than you already do. You will feel more of its rich taste and pronounced flavor from each and every single sip.
If you are a coffee lover as we are, you can find many pieces of information you need to improve your coffee enjoyment. You will explore the mysterious world of this great, inspirational, and historical drink on every single page of this website.
As the Coffeenade team, we are committed to teach about coffee and assist you in exploring the mystical world of coffee beans and heightening your coffee experience.