The history of coffee beans


Who was not raised with it? That wonderful smell in the morning, that first sip of magic. The black gold, we can't do without it. For many a standard item on the shopping list, because a day without coffee... We don't know that.

There are so many types of coffee beans , arabica, robusta, espresso, filter, light roasts and dark roasts. But what do you actually know about the coffee you drink? “Uhm, coffee just comes from Italy, right?”

Nothing is less true. For example, our freshly roasted coffee beans come from Colombia, Brazil, Ethiopia and Kenya, just to name a few. But where does coffee really come from?

That's where I dived in for you and I'm going to tell you all about the history of coffee beans in this article.

I'll take you into the story of the discoverer of coffee and how he did this. How did coffee eventually spread across the rest of the world and also end up in Europe? What are Coffee Cultures?

And what is the state of the coffee industry in the Netherlands today. Read on to absorb this interesting history lesson.

Where does coffee originally come from

Coffee originally comes from the African continent. All types of coffee beans originate here. The Coffea Arabica, perhaps the most famous coffee bean variety, was first discovered in Ethiopia.

After the rumor of this magical plant spread, the coffee plant ended up in the Arabian continent and the plant was further cultivated in Yemen in particular.

From the 15th century, coffee was produced on a large scale in the Yemeni District of Arabia, which became widely known in Persia, Egypt, Syria and Turkey, among others.

Coffee was not only drunk in people's homes, but the qahveh khaneh, the modern day coffee bar, started to emerge in the cities of this area. The popularity of coffee houses was immense and people frequented them for all kinds of social activities.

Due to the thousands of pilgrims who visited the holy city of Mecca for their pilgrimage, the rumors of this magical drink “wine of Araby” soon spread worldwide.

How was coffee discovered?

In the article; where does coffee come from , have I already told you quite a bit about the origin of coffee. It was Mr. Kaldi, a goatherd from Ethiopia who noticed something very remarkable in his herd of goats.

They started dancing and making very enthusiastic movements when they ate the berries of a certain plant. This was the Coffea Arabica plant, which is currently also called Arabica coffee or 100% Arabica .

Kaldi realized that he had discovered something special and after eating the berries himself he went to the head monk of the town where he comes from.

The monk called Kaldi's discovery the work of the devil and threw the coffee cherries into the fire. Soon after, a strong aroma emerged that no one could ignore.

The monk removed the roasted coffee beans from the fire and poured hot water over them to continue to smell the scent and aromas. After taking a sip of this black drink, they were overcome by a sense of peace and calm.

The after effects were strong and they could focus better and concentrate longer on important things. After this special discovery, knowledge quickly spread further.

Read also: Nutritional value in coffee, what's in your cup of coffee?

How did coffee get to Europe?

Travelers from Europe who had visited the East returned with stories of this unusual black drink that was so popular in Yemen.

Soon the coffee followed the stories and around the 17th century coffee started to rise in Europe and quickly gained popularity.

The controversy surrounding the drink was huge. It was also called by detractors the bitter discovery of Satan. The contradictions were so great that even Pope Clement VIII had to get involved.

He decided to taste this coffee himself and found the drink so satisfying after the first sip that he decided to give the drink the saint's permission.

Despite the controversy, the coffeehouses in countries such as England, Austria, France, Germany and the Netherlands also became extremely popular. Coffee was so popular that it even replaced the breakfast drink, which was beer and wine back then.

Those who started the day with coffee were alert and energized and their quality of life and work progressed tremendously.

The coffee industry today in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, the coffee industry has only grown since its discovery in the 17th century. With major international players such as JDE, the Netherlands is an absolute major player in the field of coffee.

Like any industry, the coffee industry is also subject to trend changes in the market and the demand for sustainable solutions is increasing enormously.

The larger coffee chains are increasingly losing ground to smaller specialty coffee roasters that want to tell the real story behind coffee. They try to make the market fairer by implementing Fairtrade & direct trade solutions, for example.

Especially in a coffee country like the Netherlands, this is becoming more popular by the day.

Coffee has also made the transition from a typical product that you can store for years to a fresh product that you should only store for a limited time to fully enjoy the taste.

Read also: How to store freshly roasted coffee beans

In addition, decaf coffee is on the rise. For people who want the taste, but not the buzz that 'regular' coffee is so famous for.

In short, a good and necessary development on the market that will continue for a while. With an annual growth of 12.78%, the specialty coffee market is on the rise and will continue for some time to come.

source: Adroit Market Research


The conclusion is that coffee does not come from Italy at all, but of course you already knew that ;-). Coffee originally comes from the African continent. From here it has found popularity in the Arabian continents, where the first coffee houses originated.

From this area it quickly found popularity among European travelers who eventually made the coffee popular in Europe.

Until today, when coffee is still the most popular drink. However, the time of exploitation and bitter coffee is over and you are seeing an increasing shift to more sustainable solutions and products.

Many people get their money's worth from specialty coffee, whose market share is increasing by about 12.5% ​​every year. If you ask me, a beautiful development for a beautiful history of a beautiful product.

Video: the history of coffee beans