History of Coffee

This section covers the origin of coffee and how it spread throughout the world. It includes information on historic artifacts, literature, the spread, and influences. Relative to beer and wine, coffee's history is somewhat short.

930 AD, Rhazes

Rhazes was a Persian physician, astronomer, and mathematician who lived circa 865 - 930 AD. He likely wrote about coffee in the significant work, the Comprehensive Book of Medicine, which he completed throughout his life.

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1025 AD, Avicenna

Avicenna was a Persian traveler who studied philosophy and medicine among other subjects. He lived circa 980 - 1037 AD. He likely wrote about coffee in the significant work The Canon of Medicine, which he completed in 1025. It unified all current medical knowledge, and became a standard medical text.

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1400 AD, Mokha, Yemen

The port city of Mokha was the first major marketplace for arabica coffee. Only boiled or roasted beans could be exported, so coffee could stay an Arabic commodity. That effort lasted for about 200 years, until fertile coffee was smuggled out of the region.

1582 AD, Leonhard Rauwolf

Leonhard Rauwolf lived between 1535 and 1596 AD. He was a German traveler who studied and documented medicine, botany, and culture in the land East of the Mediterranean Sea. In a travel book titeld "Dr. Leonhart Rauwolf's Travels into the Eastern Countries," he mentioned seeing coffee.

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1592 AD, Prosper Alpinus

Proser Alpinus was an Italian botanist.

1616 AD, Coffee is smuggled from Yemen

1623 AD, Murad IV became Sultan of the Ottoman Empire

Murad IV took the throne when he was only 11 and ruled for 17 years. He took the empire from a state of anarchy and corruption to control and supremacy. He was infamous for violence and brutality, especially beheadings.

1633 AD, Murad IV bans coffee throughout the Ottoman Empire

The sultan stated coffeehouses were a fire hazard, but it was actually because coffee kept people sober and intelligent, and This ban was in effect for 7 years, until Murad IV died from alcoholism. While coffeehouses did gradually reappear in the Ottoman Empire, more of the merchants and vendors emigrated to Europe to open businesses there.

1650 AD, The first coffeehouse opens in Europe

The Oxford Café opened in Oxford, England. Queen Elizabeth I had established a strong diplomatic and trade relationship with the Ottoman Empire during her rule. This is likely why the first European café opened in England, as opposed to in continental Europe, which is much closer.

1652 AD, The first coffeehouse opens in London

Likely called The Turk's Head, the first café in London was opened by Pasqua Rosee.

1666 AD, The Great Fire of London

This fire destroyed many coffeehouses, records, and other documents, which is why the name of the first café is not known with certainty.

1683 AD, Battle of Vienna

In its continued expansionism, the Ottoman Empire sent a quarter of a million soliders to the gates of Vienna to request its surrender. An alliance of christian armies

1683 AD, The first coffeehouse opens in Vienna

Some Viennese spies, whom had gathered valuable information to help defend the city, claimed the masses of green coffee beans left in the Ottoman camps after their retreat. They used the coffee to open Vienna's first coffeehouse, called The Blue Bottle.

1699 AD, Coffee Planted in Java, Indonesia

1822 AD, The Espresso Machine is Invented in France

1825 AD, Coffee Planted in Hawaii

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