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A Look at How We All Started Drinking Coffee

Paper coffee cups with lids

Many people like to start their day with a hot cup of coffee. Many people go to coffee shops on the way to work and grab their paper to go coffee cups and stirrers and they find their morning cup of joe:

  • Helps them wake up. That may be one of the top benefits of drinking caffeine in the morning.
  • Makes them smarter. The caffeine in coffee helps the brain work.
  • Makes them more productive at work. Most people report being more productive after drinking a cup of coffee.
  • Has a number of health benefits such as the reduction of the risk of strokes, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
  • Helps them lose weight. People lose weight for a few reasons when they drink coffee. They tend to eat less and they give their metabolism a boost by drinking coffee.
  • Helps them stay happier. Research has shown that drinking coffee can reduce a person’s chance of suffering from depression. Women who drink coffee are much less likely to suffer from suicidal thoughts and actions.

All of those are great things but where did this all start? There was a time before coffee cups and stirrers when people had to find another way to get going in the morning.

It has been found that coffee plants grew wild along the eastern regions of Africa for thousands of years. Nomadic peoples used them for a variety of purposes. Some stories tell of goats (and then people) chewing the seeds from the coffee plants and beoming hyper after doing so. In the 1400s, the cultivation of the plants was developed. That was when people started roasting coffee plant seeds. That was the development that jump started the development of the beverage.

Over the next hundred years, beverages made from the coffee plant seeds started their march around Africa and the Arab world. It took some time but when coffee made its way to coffee, it blew everyone there away. That happened at the end of the 1500s.

The impact coffee had on the people who drank it was pretty intense. Many historians think that people began gathering in coffee houses where they did more than drink coffee. They also talked about new ideas for business and that idea exchange spurred a lot of new enterprises.

Lloyd’s of London, the famous insurance company, is said to have gotten its start in a coffee shoppe in London. There were more then two thousand such meeting spaces in that city. It is also thought that coffee was at least somewhat responsible for the development of newspapers and great pieces of literature. Beethoven and Bach were supposedly inspired to write their great works of music after drinking coffee.

Colonists in the New World began drinking more coffee after they famously threw their tea into the Boston Harbor in 1773. In a sign of solidarity with the people in Massachusetts, people all over the colonies went with coffee after the Boston Tea Party. John Adams wrote in his famous letters to his wife, Abigail, that he loved tea but felt it would be more patriotic to ditch tea and start drinking coffee.

Maybe it is because they want to show their patriotism still but the vast majority of Americans drink coffee every day. More than 83% of American adults say they consume at least one cup of the hot beverage every day. According to the National Coffee Association, the average coffee drinker in the United States has at least three cups of it each day. That translates to 587 cups of coffee consumed every day throughout the country. In the United States coffee is a 30 billion dollar industry.

From its origins in Africa, coffee has spread across the globe. There are few places on the planet where you cannot go into a coffee shop, grab a cup of coffee, some stirrers and prepare the kind of coffee you like to drink. Enjoying a well done coffee cup at a coffee house with your favorite additives such as cream, sugar or cinnamon, whipped together with coffee stirrers, is a small luxury that people all over Earth really like to do. It is hard to imagine life today without the yummy drink.

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