The Real History of Coffee
Arabs were the first people to cultivate coffee. The Arabian climate is particularly good for cultivating coffee, so the Arabs were able to cultivate the plant quite well. The reason for coffee’s popularity in Arabia is not known exactly, but religion most likely played the crucial role. Arabs, who were Muslims, were forbidden to drink alcohol. Sources from the time note that many Arabs enjoyed the «exhilarating» effects of coffee. The effects if the caffeine in coffee fit in well with the daily lives of Muslims. They prayed five times a day, and coffee helped to keep them awake. It is worth noting that the legend stated that it was a monk who shared coffee for the first time. Rather than this being a literal story, it could be interpreted as a metaphor for the important role coffee played in religion. As demand for coffee grew, coffeehouses sprung up in Arabia. Coffee was drunk in coffeehouses and became the social drink of choice for Arabs. With the spread of Islam and the Arab Empire, so too spread coffee. Arab traders traded coffee wherever they could. Europeans started hearing word of a wondrous drink from the East. By the 17th century, coffee had made its way to Europe. By the mid-17th century, coffee had become a popular drink in Europe. In the New World, tea was preferred. The Boston Tea Party changed all that. From then on, coffee became the preferred drink of Americans.Coffee is now popular all over the world. Over 400 billion cups of coffee are drunk a day. Today, coffee is a commodity second only to oil.