When Was Coffee Invented?

Coffee beans and coffee grinder

Around the globe, coffee is a beverage that is consumed in a massive amount among human beings. Whether you need to wake up early morning after a late night or want to unwind after a long day, coffee can help a person in many different forms.

History Of Coffee

Have you ever wondered when coffee was invented? Let’s go way back to 850 CE, where one of the first reports of the discovery of coffee can be found. There is a high possibility that it was discovered even before that, as there are stories reported.

However, there is no way to confirms the validity of those anecdotes. Several versions of how coffee was invented/discovered have been told; however, there is little to no legitimate evidence to support some of these theories and stories.

One famous anecdote includes a farmer who observed that his goats became energetic when they had the coffee berries, which led him to take those berries and try them himself. The word “koffee” was trendy in the early days in Africa.

In the early days of coffee, it was not as common as today and was only consumed by the rich and royals. Anyway who had coffee in their homes were considered to be very wealthy. It was also not as affordable as it is today because many countries around the world were not aware that they could grow their own, and import it would be expensive.

Place Of Origin

In the 15th century, coffee was not created but more widely discovered as its beans grow naturally. It initially originated from Ethiopia in Africa, but as time went on, other countries either started importing it and some started producing coffee beans themselves.

Many people know that coffee is from Africa, and to this day, Africa produces a considerable amount of coffee every year consumed around the world. There are other countries too have a suitable climate to grow coffee.

In the beginning, coffee was used mainly by Islamic countries as it has properties to help feel energetic as Muslims stay up during the night to pray during Ramadan. Slowly other nations also discovered and realized the benefits of it, so it started becoming more common.

Today, you can find a jar or pack of coffee in almost every other household. Many countries produce it themselves for local use and export it to countries with unfavorable climate conditions for growing coffee.

In the past, coffee places were just like they are today, except a lot more exciting. People often went there to socialize, relax, enjoy music performances, and discuss hot gossip, etcetera. It was the perfect place to go if you were willing to find out what was going in town, and any thrilling news would be pondered over in those coffee houses.

In the 16th century, coffee spread to other parts of the world outside of Africa to the Middle East, India, Persia, Turkey, northern Africa. The word coffee was not always part of the English language but was added to it in the 16th century when it became more popular and much more widely used than before.

The word coffee was primarily derived from the Arabic word "qahwah", which was then taken, maneuvered with, and called "kahve" by the Turkish during the Ottoman empire's times. The Arabic word "qahwah" is known to mean power and energy, which the coffee’s primary benefit is which is why it is consumed to boost one’s strength.

Early Uses

A famous account of coffee discovery is about a Moroccan Sufi mystic Ghothul Akbar Nooruddin Abu al-Hasan al-Shadhili. While traveling in Ethiopia, he noticed that some birds had consumed the coffee berries, so he decided to try it himself.

Once he did try it, he also felt more energy than he had previously observed in the birds and thus concluded that it had energy-boosting properties. Another person named Omar, who was deported from Makkah and forced to live without food, came across these berries and tried to chew them, but he found them very bitter.

Omar then tried roasting them, but they became hard, so then he decided to boil them. When he did that, he noticed that the berries were leaving behind the dark brown color liquid we now see when we boil the coffee beans or add the ground coffee to hot water.

Coffee As A Beverage

In the 15th century, when coffee first started becoming popular in Ethiopia, it would be consumed locally and exported. The export was able to help the area earn through the export of coffee but gradually when other places realized that they could also grow these berries.

Sufis utilized the coffee as a way to concentrate and spiritual intoxication when they repeatedly chanted God’s name. It came to Makkah and Madina and then spread further to Cairo, Damascus, Baghdad, and many other places. 

At first, some conservative imams thought that because it had an intoxicating effect due to caffeine's caffeine, which can be addictive and intoxicating. However, in a matter of few years, the Ottoman empire leader declared a fatwa and concluded that it was not haram and could be consumed.

Several other people also placed some bans, but due to the fast spread, those bans did not last long, and soon coffee plants were exported in other countries to grow it and sell it locally.

Some emperors tried the beverage themselves to see if things said about them were true, and they did go against their religious beliefs. They found out that that was not the case which prompted them to lift the bans and allow the consumption of coffee and declared it a Muslim drink.

Women In Coffee Places

Many countries worldwide banned the entry of women into coffee houses. In many other countries that did not forbid it, it was not considered the ladylike thing to do, going into coffee houses, enjoying the drink, and socializing here.

Women not being allowed at coffee places went on for some time, but soon it became common for women to be spotted in the coffee houses, socializing, gossiping, and enjoying the drink.

Coffee In Europe

In the 18th century, when the coffee has long reached Europe, the French were known to make delicious blends of coffees, and in no time, they supplied half of the world’s consumption of coffee. They not only used it locally in excess but also exported it to many countries.

The French’s production of coffee was dependent on the African slaves who lived in dire conditions and were not paid even the minimum wage. The Haitian Revolution changed things for those slaves, but it put the French in great danger economically as they could no longer exploit those workers and manufacture coffee at the lowest prices and earn high profits.

After the Haitian Revolution, the coffee industry struggled to recover, and to this day, it is said that it could never fully recover.

Brazil had small beans of the coffee, so the King of Portugal sent one of his men to retrieve France's seeds. At first, the King’s man found it challenging to so; however, once he could capture the French governor’s wife, the task became easier as the wife game him those seeds.

Coffee in America

Coffee arrived in America somewhere around the same time it arrived in Europe. The United States of America would import their coffee from the French. Still, when the second World War happened and US and French relations suffered, they stooped importing it from them, and at that time, coffee had become a commodity.

During this time, the US agreed with Latin America that they would sell their coffee to the US. The trade went on, and it greatly benefitted the coffee producers in Latin America, and the economy went through a positive phase.

In 1773, the Boston Tea Party, which was a political protest, was held. The Sons of Liberty in Boston carried out a rally. They raised their voices against the Tea Act, which allowed the East India Company to sell coffee imported from China in its American colonies without paying taxes.

After this protest, America focused more on importing, buying, and consuming coffee, and to this date, coffee is more liked by Americans and is more common than tea.

Top 10 Coffee Facts

Here are the top 10 coffee facts for coffee lovers:

  1. Coffee is a fruit! It's named coffee beans due to its resemblance with beans, otherwise, coffee belongs to the berry family and is thus a fruit.
  2. So in 1932, Brazil didn’t have enough resources to send its players to Olympics in Los Angeles. So they sent the players in a ship that was full of coffee and was meant to be sold along the way.
  3. Adding cream to your coffee helps in keeping it hot for 20% longer.
  4. Do you know which country consumes more coffee than any other country? It’s Finland!
  5. Coffee doesn’t dehydrate your body.
  6. Arabica and Robusta are two types of coffee beans. Though Robusta has twice the caffeine as Arabica, is less popular.
  7. The “Oldest Cat Ever” the Guinness Book holder was named Crème Puff. The 38-year old pet drank coffee every day in the morning her whole life.
  8. It is believed that coffee is most effective between 9:30 and 11:30 AM.
  9. Black Ivory Coffee is the most expensive coffee and can cost up to $1100 per kg.
  10. Hawaii was the only state in the US that produced coffee, until recently when California also joined the game.


Coffee has been transformed into the most modern form it could be today, and it is no challenging task to get your hands on a jar. All you have to do is stop by a nearby grocery store, and you can pick out your favorite one.

It is hard to imagine it will get any more modernized than today, but that is what people would have thought about chewing those beans and coffee being served in any other way.

Coffee has had a vibrant history. The stories mentioned previously are just part of some of the things that happened in the past related to coffee. It is nearly impossible to narrate everything that happened and the revolutions that coffee brought around the world.

There have been disputes about it in the early days when the coffee berry was not found everywhere worldwide. All the wealthy people worldwide wanted to get their hands on it, just like in today’s times when a new technology is introduced and the rich hurry to be the first to get their hands on it.

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