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Coffee History + Importance by Craft Coffee Institute

Interested in coffee history? Read more about the history of coffee and its importance here!

This guest post is written by Andrew Russo, owner of Craft Coffee Institute. Craft Coffee Institute conducts a unique, innovative program that gives students the opportunity for peer learning, hands-on experimentation, and live lectures from the comfort of their own homes. They are committed to helping all levels of coffee professionals and enthusiasts expand their knowledge of the coffee as a plant, a roast, and a beverage. 

Coffee History


It is assumed that coffee was discovered in Ethiopia by a young goat herder amazed to find his goats livened up by a strange plant. This old tale is steeped in myth, but coffee history has firm and traceable roots in the Middle East. Accounts of intellectual stimulation and meetings in coffee houses were recorded by Islamic scholars in the Ottoman Empire. Despite attempts to suppress it (and the rebellious discussions it imparted upon subjects of the sultan) the Ottoman Turks truly established coffee as a beverage and a culture.

Coffee arrived in Europe at the turn of the 16th Century. Though there were two coffee houses on the continent, the arrival in Vienna of large stores of coffee was the catalyst for expansion. After the defeat of the Turks during the Siege of Vienna in 1529 coffee was left as the Turks fled, promptly looted, and sold by an enterprising man in the first Viennese coffee house. Europe’s coffee culture and trade remained stable for centuries until the advent of industrialization and global trade. Things then began to change rapidly.

What is Coffee to You?

coffee and notebook

When my parents drank coffee around me as a child it appeared to be a source of beautiful fragrances and awful tastes. Luckily things have progressed to the point where coffee is an experience akin to exquisite wine. Coffee means different things to different people. It may be enjoyed as a latte, a straight espresso, with milk and sugar, or as an instant beverage. Whatever the form, your enjoyment of the beverage is the ultimate goal for all of us in coffee. Our Joy of Coffee class is designed to take you on a journey to understanding it so you too may indulge and garner a new appreciation for this amazing beverage. We start with the history of a beverage that spans hundreds of years of consumption, trade, war, and evolution.

Check out more of Craft Coffee Institute’s coffee courses here to learn about everything from brewing basics to starting a roastery.

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