Coffee has been an American commodity, as early as 1773, however over long periods of time prices of coffee have risen and the caffeinated beverage has developed its own culture and food chains such as Starbucks , Dunkin Donuts and Wawa are thriving across the country because of their flavors of various coffees and lattes such as Peppermint Mocha, Pumpkin Spice, Caramel etc. The term ” Coffee Culture” refers to the social environment in which human behaviors are driven by the consumption of coffee.
Coffee has become the world’s primary source of caffeine and is not only a “trend” that has flourished in the nation ,but has transformed into a symbol of social status.So how has the evolution of coffee changed over that past couple of centuries? How did it become a daily routine to have a cup of coffee in the morning? And why are industries and companies making millions of dollars every year with their production of coffee? The true origination of coffee is not considerably recorded or known to humans today, however, historians have developed a myth, that tells the story of an animal caretaker, who was exposed to coffee beans when he made the observation that his goat became very hyperactive at night and could not sleep, due to the ingestion of berries from a specific tree in a primitive forest located on the Ethiopian Plateau.Tom Standage has pointed out that many stories about the origin of coffee exist and “One tells of an Ethiopian goatherd who noticed that his flock became particularly frisky after consuming the brownish purple cherries from a particular tree.” (Standage, Tom.
Wine Of Islam, 2006 ). Although many believe this legend to be spurious, it describes the origin of coffee and how it became known as a stimulant, giving consumers a “boost of energy” and dates back to over 10,000 years ago. During this period of time, coffee was thought to have the appearance of a cherry-like fruit and be used for medicinal purposes. When coffee began its flourishment to the Arabian Peninsula, it was imported and exported in International trade and was being grown in the Arabian district of Yemeni. Because of the enriched and fertile soil and climate, coffee beans were able to grow rapidly and were widely known by Islamic countries such as Turkey, Syria, Egypt and Persia. Muslims believed that the caffeine in coffee, resulting in wakefulness had harmful health effects on them to the point in which the “governor of Mecca banned coffee because his medical advisers warned it was bad for people’s health.”(Zuraw, 2013).
As coffee started to reach the cities of Mecca and Cairo, a controversial debate arose among Muslim scholars, who believed that “coffee was intoxicating… same religious prohibition as wine and other alcoholic drinks, which the Prophet Muhammed has prohibited”(Standage, Tom. Wine Of Islam, 2006 ). Once coffee became consumed publicly again under the ruling of Kha’ir Beg, coffee was used to stay awake during nightly prayers and was also considered a “social” drink, where it was sold by vendors, in market squares and coffeehouses.
Coffee drinkers engaged in conversations, listened to music, watched performances, played games, read newspapers and were up to date on the current news over a cup of “qahwah” and “was extremely popular with the Muslim community for its stimulant powers… By parching and boiling the coffee beans…
Arabs were able to corner the market on coffee crops.” (Avey, 2013) Coffee was introduced to the Americas when Parliament passed the 1773 “Tea Act”. Britain’s prime minister, Lord North made the decision to assist the Company of British East India, which was on the brink of being bankrupt. Wars in India, resulted in the country to be in debt and since the British had taxes on tea, colonial merchants began illegally selling cheaper Dutch tea for profit. “As a result,..
.East India Company tea could now be sold at lower prices than smuggled Dutch tea”. ( The American Vision, 2005). The new law permitted the company to sell the tea to vendors directly, causing colonial merchants to be angry by the fact that they would be robbed out of business.
When the East India Company planned to ship 1,253 chests of tea to the Boston, New York, Charlestown, and Philadelphia colonies, the Committees of Correspondence, which were organizations in each colony that were opposed to British policies, informed colonists that the tea was arriving into the Americas. The Committees took immediate action and made a choice that the tea would be prohibited from coming to American territory. In December 1773, tea ships arrived in Boston Harbor, while about 150 men had already snuck on and boarded the ship the previous night. The men emptied the 342 chests of tea into the harbor and the raid became known as ” The Boston Tea Party”. The Boston Tea party angered British King George III, causing parliament to pass the ” Coercive Acts”, which punished Boston city until it paid for the destruction of the tea. After these laws were passed, it was considered “unpatriotic to drink tea….
colonists found that they could import coffee from South and Central America…without the help of the British. Drinking coffee became a sign of independence and American autonomy”( Howard, 2012) .