The Story of Coffee – FULL EPISODE | Original Fare | PBS Food

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The Story of coffee.

The history of coffee dates back centuries and is filled with intriguing tales and historical events. Legend has it that coffee was first discovered in Ethiopia by a curious goat herder named Kaldi. One day, Kaldi noticed his goats became unusually energetic after nibbling on the red berries from a certain plant. Intrigued, he decided to try the berries himself and experienced a similar burst of energy.

Excited by his discovery, Kaldi shared the news with monks at a local monastery. The monks, known for their long hours of prayer, began using the berries to create a beverage that helped them stay awake and alert during their devotions. Word of this newfound drink quickly spread across the region.

By the 15th century, coffee cultivation had found its way to the Arabian Peninsula. Arab traders began roasting and brewing the beans, creating a popular beverage known for its stimulating effects. Coffee houses, or qahveh khaneh, started popping up in cities throughout the region, becoming centers of lively social interaction, intellectual discussions, and entertainment.

The practice of drinking coffee soon spread beyond Arabia. Coffee made its way to Persia, Egypt, and eventually to the Ottoman Empire, where it became an integral part of the culture. In the 17th century, coffee was introduced to Europe through trading ports, and coffeehouses started appearing in major European cities.

These coffeehouses quickly gained popularity as gathering places for thinkers, writers, artists, and businessmen. They played a pivotal role in shaping the Enlightenment era and fostering the exchange of ideas. The 18th century marked a significant turning point as coffee cultivation expanded to colonies in various parts of the world, including Central and South America, Africa, and Asia.

The 19th century witnessed the rise of large coffee plantations in tropical regions, driven by high demand from Europe and North America. However, the industry was plagued by issues such as labor exploitation and environmental concerns. As a result, movements advocating for fair trade and sustainable coffee production gained momentum in the 20th century.

Today, coffee stands as one of the most beloved and consumed beverages globally. Its journey from an Ethiopian discovery to a worldwide phenomenon is a testament to its enduring appeal. With a rich history that spans continents and cultures, coffee continues to bring people together, spark creativity, and provide a comforting source of energy and connection.

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