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A Look Back At Coffee

Nowadays, coffee is one of the most ubiquitous beverages in the world. From New York City to Beijing and back again, everyone's sitting down to a cup - or two - of coffee every morning. Coffee shops adorn every street corner and every American house probably has at least one coffee maker that joyfully brews every day. In essence, coffee is big and it's here to stay. But where did it come from?

Take a look at coffee through history:

When you buy roasted coffee beans at the grocery store, chances are you've noticed that many brands of beans come from Ethiopia. While many countries around the world grow coffee now, Ethiopia is the original country of origin. There's debate about when exactly the coffee plant was first discovered - some people believe it was a goat herder who stumbled upon the wonderful plant, but it is certain that by the 11th century, people in Africa were using the leaves of the coffee plant to brew a potent drink that soon became part of their medicinal rituals.

Not long after the plant's discovery, people began to experiment with it by consuming the leaves and fruit. The coffee berries were eaten raw or mixed with other ingredients to make special dishes. Some tribes even made a kind of coffee wine with fermented berries. Eventually, people learned to roast the beans within the berries and an early version of the modern cup of coffee was born. To this day, many Ethiopians roast their own beans at home over a fire before preparing them for a daily ceremony of coffee drinking and conversation with friends, family and neighbors.

Throughout history, people would brew coffee over hot coals.Throughout history, people would brew coffee over hot coals.

The Middle East
Coffee spread out from Africa to what is now called the Middle East. The Arabian peninsula in particular was a prime spot for cultivating coffee plants. This is also where the first coffee houses sprang up during the 15th and 16th centuries. These ancient coffee houses weren't very different from modern cafes. At the time, people would come to drink coffee together, discuss the news and play games. Some would say that this is where the tradition of coffee as an intellectual stimulant began. It gave people an excuse to sit amongst one another and talk about the important topics of the day.

Around the same time, the sultans of Istanbul became very fond of coffee and even had their own official chief coffee makers, who would specially prepare the sultan's daily coffee. Because the sultan drank coffee, so did the members of the Turkish upper class - and eventually the custom spread to all people of the country. Today coffee is still a huge part of Turkish culture and the Turkish method of coffee preparation is considered a gourmet treat around the world!

Coffee next spread to Europe, where the renaissance was in full swing, literacy was on the rise and more people were entering intellectual fields of study. These scholars and artists, as well as the politicians and critical thinks of the day, loved to drink coffee. Italian and French coffee houses began to spring up around those countries and soon spread to the rest of Europe. Because coffee had to be imported from the Middle East, the tradition of drinking the beverage often began in the large seaside cities before spreading inland.

When the Dutch began cultivating coffee crops in Indonesia, trade of the beans moved to a global scale. Coffee houses were everywhere in Europe by the mid-1600s and, like the coffee houses of the Arabian peninsula, they became meeting places for intellectuals and forward thinking people. Drinking coffee was often accompanied by readings, intense conversation, games and artistic performances. Some people even believe that coffee was influential in fueling the age of enlightenment, when the fields of math and science exploded.

After the Boston Tea Party, when American's refused to pay ridiculously high taxes on imported tea from Britain, coffee became the young nation's drink of choice. As American won it's independence and become an industrial power, Americans become more and more fond of drinking coffee. By the 1800s, pre-roasted coffee was being sold in bags for grinding and brewing at home or, as the cowboys did it, out on the open range. Nowadays, it is estimated that Americans drink over 587 million cups of coffee a day! That's three cups per person!

Nowadays, you can enjoy coffee and history from the comfort of home!Nowadays, you can enjoy coffee and history from the comfort of home!

Gourmet Coffee at Home
Drinking coffee at home really changed in 1970, when the Mr. Coffee® brand was founded. The first Mr. Coffee® Coffee Makers modernized brewing taste and consistency over the typical method of making coffee in a percolator. A percolator, which was often heated over the stove, made it difficult to control the temperature of the beverage and the resulting flavor was far from rich and sometimes too bitter.

The Mr. Coffee® Single Cup Coffeemaker with Built-in Grinder, for example is a true marvel of modern coffee making. This compact coffee maker grinds the beans and brews them in one convenient system. The modern coffee drinker often doesn't have as much time to sit and enjoy their beverage, so the Mr. Coffee® Single Cup Coffeemaker with Built-in Grinder includes a travel mug, so you can just grab your drink and go!

Equally impressive is the Mr. Coffee® Cafe Barista. It's like having the coffee shop experience right in your kitchen! With this one coffee maker, you can make high-quality espresso drinks like lattes, mochas, Americanos and much more. If there was ever a golden age of coffee, it's happening right now, and the Mr. Coffee® brand brings that experience to your home.