Coffee..."Nature's miracle"


         I took this picture at the Como Zoo in MN

Beans, beans the magical fruit Jeff McMillian @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

            The most common legend of the magic of the beans was first discovered by a goat herdsman in Ethiopia that witnessed his herd of goats frolicking about after consuming the ripe-red berries off a shrub. The herdsman was curious to try the berries for himself, and sure enough, showed the same effects.

            This kicked off the craze. However, before the coffee beans were roasted and brewed, they were mixed with animal fat and rolled into balls as a source of high energy, and also a wine was made of the berry’s pulp. Then coffee as we know it began flourishing in Arabia in the 6th century A.D. to help aid in alertness during religious services and prayer. Coffee of all forms; brewed as a drink, seeds, even complete plants, began to travel legally or smuggled (seeds were taped to the stomach of individuals) as the demand increased.

            Coffee became a hit in Europe but not at first. At first Europeans were disgusted by the color and believed the look and smell resembled that of black tar. However, the experiences were something else. They began to crave coffee’s effects and by the mid 17th century they were hooked. Brazil acquired their source of coffee from seeds that were smuggled in a bouquet of flowers given from the mayor’s wife as a gift that would soon sprout the world’s largest coffee boom; soon to make coffee an everyday necessity compared to a drink only enjoyed by the elite.

            Captain John Smith was the first to bring about the idea of coffee to America in his glass when he arrived at Jamestown in 1607 and he may have even introduced the beans. The first license to sell coffee was given to Dorothy Jones in 1670 in Boston where the first coffee house also opened up in the year 1689. However coffee was still very expensive. It was not until the boycott of the tea tax around 1773 with the Boston Tea party that the colonists switched from beer and tea to coffee.

            America now consumes the most coffee in the world, drinking 420 million cups a day, making up 1/5 of the world’s production. Coffee is the most consumed substance containing caffeine, beating other teas, soda, and even chocolate. So what’s in your cup?