||Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM
Not many other subjects are so complicated and have contributed so much to world culture and the socio-economic situations around the globe as coffee has.
Coffee is often consumed alongside (or instead of) breakfast by many at home. It is often served at the end of a meal, normally with a dessert, and at times with an after-dinner mint especially when consumed at a restaurant or dinner party.
Aggressively promoted by the Pan-American Coffee Bureau, the "coffee break" was first promoted in 1952. Before that time, unknown in the workplace, its uptake was facilitated by the recent popularity of both instant coffee and vending machines, and has become an institution of the American workplace.
Most widely known as coffeehouses or cafés, establishments serving prepared coffee or other hot beverages have existed for over five hundred years. Various legends involving the introduction of coffee to Istanbul at a "Kiva Han" in the late 15th century circulate in culinary tradition, but with no documentation.
Coffeehouses in Mecca soon became a concern as places for political gatherings to the imams who banned them, and the drink, for Muslims between 1512 and 1524. In 1530 the first coffee house was opened in Damascus. The first coffee house in Constantinople was opened in 1475 by traders arriving from Damascus and Aleppo. Soon after, coffee houses became part of the Ottoman Culture, spreading rapidly to all regions of the Ottoman Empire.
In the 17th century, coffee appeared for the first time in Europe outside the Ottoman Empire, and coffeehouses were established and quickly became popular. The first coffeehouses in Western Europe appeared in Venice, a result of the traffic between La Serenissima and the Ottomans; the very first one is recorded in 1645. The first coffeehouse in England was set up in Oxford in 1650 by a Jewish man named Jacob in the building now known as "The Grand Cafe". A plaque on the wall still commemorates this and the Cafe is now a trendy cocktail bar. By 1675, there were more than 3,000 coffeehouses in England.
After the second Turkish siege of Vienna in 1683, the Viennese discovered many bags of coffee in the abandoned Ottoman encampment. Using this captured stock, a Polish soldier named Kulczycki opened the first coffeehouse in Vienna.
In 1672 an Armenian named Pascal established a coffee stall in Paris that was ultimately unsuccessful and the city had to wait until 1689 for its first coffeehouse when Procopio Cutò opened the Café Procope. This coffeehouse still exists today and was a major meeting place of the French Enlightenment; Voltaire, Rousseau, and Denis Diderot frequented it, and it is arguably the birthplace of the Encyclopédie, the first modern encyclopedia. America had its first coffeehouse in Boston in 1676. Coffee, tea and beer were often served together in establishments that functioned both as coffeehouses and taverns; one such was the Green Dragon in Boston, where John Adams, James Otis and Paul Revere planned rebellion.
The modern espresso machine was born in Milan in 1945 by Achille Gaggia and from there spread across coffeehouses and restaurants across Italy and the rest of Europe and North America in the early 1950s. An Italian named Pino Riservato opened the first espresso bar, the Moka Bar, in Soho in 1952, and there were 400 such bars in London alone by 1956. Cappucino was particularly popular among English drinkers. Similarly in the United States, the espresso craze spread. North Beach in San Francisco saw the opening of the Caffe Trieste in 1957, which saw Beat Generation poets such as Allen Ginsberg and Bob Kaufman alongside bemused Italian immigrants. Similar such cafes existed in Greenwich Village and elsewhere.
The first Peet's Coffee & Tea store was opened in 1966 in Berkeley, California by Dutch native, Alfred Peet. He chose to focus on roasting batches with fresher, higher quality seeds than was the norm at the time. He was a trainer and supplier to the founders of Starbucks.
The international coffeehouse chain Starbucks began as a modest business roasting and selling quality coffee seeds in 1971, by 3 college students Jerry Baldwin, Gordon Bowker and Zev Siegl. The first store opened on March 30, 1971 at the Pike Place Market in Seattle, followed by a second and third over the next 2 years. Entrepreneur Howard Schultz joined the company in 1982 as Director of Retail Operations and Marketing, and pushed to sell premade espresso coffee. The others were reluctant, but Schultz opened Il Giornale in Seattle in April 1986. He bought the other owners out in March 1987 and pushed on with plans to expand—from 1987 to the end of 1991, the chain (rebranded from Il Giornale to Starbucks) expanded to over 100 outlets. The company now has 16,600 stores in over 40 countries worldwide.
South Korea experienced almost 900% growth in the number of coffee shops in the country between 2006 and 2011. The capital city Seoul now has the highest concentration of coffee shops in the world, with more than 10,000 cafes and coffee houses.
Market volatility, and thus increased returns, during 1830 encouraged Brazilian entrepreneurs to shift their attention from gold to coffee, a crop that until then was reserved for local consumption. Concurrent with this shift was the commissioning of vital infrastructures, including approximately 7,000 km of railroads between 1860 and 1885. The creation of these railways enabled the importation of workers, in order to meet the enormous need for labor. This development primarily affected the State of Rio de Janeiro, as well as the Southern States of Brazil, most notably São Paulo, due to its favorable climate, soils, and terrain.
Coffee allowed Brazil to attract immigrants in search of better economic opportunities in the early 1900s. Mainly, these were Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, German and Japanese nationals. For instance, São Paulo received approximately 733,000 immigrants in the decade preceding 1900, whilst only receiving approximately 201,000 immigrants in the 6 years to 1890. The production yield of coffee increased. In 1880, São Paulo produced 1.2 million bags (25% of total production), in 1888 2.6 million (40%), in 1902, 8 million bags (60%). Coffee is then 63% of the country's exports. The gains made by this trade allow sustained economic growth in the country.
The 4 years between planting a coffee and the first harvest extends seasonal variations in the price of coffee. The Government is thus forced, to some extent, to keep strong price subsidies during production periods. This policy of price support is inflation negative effect of plantations in São Paulo, resulting in a huge blockbuster to early 1930.
The concept of fair trade labeling, which guarantees coffee growers a negotiated preharvest price, began with the Max Havelaar Foundation's labeling program in the Netherlands. In 2004, 24,222 metric tons (of 7,050,000 produced worldwide) were fair trade; in 2005, 33,991 metric tons out of 6,685,000 were fair trade, an increase from 0.34% to 0.51%. A number of fair trade impact studies have shown that fair trade coffee has a positive impact on the communities that grow it. Coffee was incorporated into the fair-trade movement in 1988, when the Max Havelaar mark was introduced in the Netherlands. The very first fair-trade coffee was an effort to import a Guatemalan coffee into Europe as "Indio Solidarity Coffee".
Since the founding of organizations such as the European Fair Trade Association (1987), the production and consumption of fair trade coffee has grown as some local and national coffee chains started to offer fair trade alternatives. For example, in April 2000, after a year-long campaign by the human rights organization Global Exchange, Starbucks decided to carry fair-trade coffee in its stores. Since September 2009 all Starbucks Espresso beverages in UK and Ireland are made with Fairtrade and Shared Planet certified coffee.
A 2005 study done in Belgium concluded that consumers' buying behavior is not consistent with their positive attitude toward ethical products. On average 46% of European consumers claimed to be willing to pay substantially more for ethical products, including fair-trade products such as coffee. The study found that the majority of respondents were unwilling to pay the actual price premium of 27% for fair trade coffee.
So there you have it, some people need to put their money where their mouth is! I hope you’ve enjoyed my lesson on coffee and that it has given you something that you didn’t know before. Next week I’ll be starting my countdown to my 100th article for the Freeport News. Until then, remember, there’s more to food than cooking and eating.
About the Author: Tim Tibbitts is the chef and owner of Flying Fish Modern Seafood in Freeport Bahamas. Flying Fish is the #1 rated restaurant in the Bahamas on
tripadvisor.com. You can see what Flying Fish is all about at
flyingfishmodernseafood and follow Tim on twitter @flyingfishfreep
© Copyright 2013 by thebahamasweekly.com
Top of Page