Coffee is poisonous? Then experiment and see!
Today, coffee is everywhere. If you love coffee, maybe you’ll want to learn about the history of coffee. Coffee can be called the earliest energy drink of Europeans. In medieval Europe, coffee, a magical drink, was popular in Turkey, France, Italy, Austria… People in these countries praised the magic of coffee. However, the Swedes and some other people at that time were skeptical of this drink.
origin of coffee
The origin of coffee is difficult to verify. But according to an old legend, in ancient Ethiopia a shepherd named Kaldi stumbled across a coffee tree in a forest. At that time, he found some interesting-looking berries on the tree. Out of curiosity, he picked some berries and fed them to his sheep. As a result, these sheep became very lively. Cardi told the pastor of the local church about the incident. He drank water made from the berry, and as a result he was so excited that he couldn’t sleep all night. Word spread quickly, and people immediately realized that coffee could become a profitable beverage.
Cafes in Constantinople
Legend aside, the earliest records of coffee date back to the 15th century in Yemen (on the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula). Coffee was first produced on plantations in Yemen before being sold to places like Egypt, Turkey and Persia. Because coffee was so popular everywhere, it soon took root throughout the city of Constantinople.
Early coffee houses were not just places to drink coffee, but social occasions. In these cafes, there are music, dance performances, and news spread. In some areas, cafes are called “schools of the wise” precisely because knowledge is passed on in cafes. In the end, the café became the favorite place for people to congregate besides the city center and the shops.
News of the miracle drink coffee spread quickly to Europe. In the 17th century, European travelers returning from Turkey brought coffee back. Cafes soon blossomed all over the continent, spawning their own coffee cultures in places like Austria and Italy. Cafes became a social paradise for Europeans, and the name “School of the Wise” became “Penny University” in the UK because a cup of coffee only costs 1 penny in the UK.
coffee origin story scene
Green coffee beans after depulping
German Cafe (1732)
London’s first coffee shop
“The Devil’s Invention”
While coffee has become popular in many places, there are still places where coffee is skeptical. In fact, shortly after coffee was introduced to Europe, some groups began denouncing naturally bitter coffee as “the devil’s invention.” At the beginning of the 17th century, this kind of condemnation was loudest, and people’s disputes about the quality of coffee were so great that they ultimately needed to be judged by “big men”. And the mogul settled the argument after tasting the coffee for the first time and finding it delicious.
Since then, coffee has become the most popular breakfast drink in Europe. Because drinking coffee in the morning can refresh you, some workers are used to drinking coffee before going to work. By the late 17th century, there were more than 300 cafes in London alone. However, as coffee gradually cools down, many cafes have also begun to transform, such as changing to insurance companies or bookstores.
By this time, coffee had been imported to the United States. There, the once very popular tea was eventually replaced by coffee. Because coffee is so easy to sell, places such as South Asia, Central America, and South America have also begun to grow and sell coffee. It is said that their coffee trees are all derived from a seedling in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Since coffee was introduced into Maihao Town, Wenchang, Hainan, China in 1898, after more than 100 years, it has entered a period of rapid development. Today, the area with the largest coffee planting area and output in China is in Yunnan Province.
One of the European countries most disgusted by the coffee craze is Sweden. While many of the countries that had originally banned coffee did so after “big shots” endorsed it, Sweden did, citing concerns that coffee would affect the beer and spirits market. One of the means by which Sweden banned coffee was by convincing its citizens that coffee was poisonous, which would help keep the alcohol industry thriving.
It’s hard to know now whether Swedish officials at the time really believed that coffee was bad for your health, or just made up stories to sway people’s perception of coffee. Many Swedes at the time believed that coffee was probably harmless, while King Gustav III of Sweden believed it was poisonous. But one thing that cannot be ignored is that businessmen who have invested heavily in the wine industry will definitely not see the whole country suddenly turn from drinking to coffee.
Gustav III decided to prove that coffee was poisonous, so he conducted the first experiments on coffee toxicity. Naturally, he would not go to test the poison himself, but found two death row prisoners. These two are twin brothers. Gustav III told them that participating in this lifelong experiment would reduce their sentence. The two brothers immediately agreed.
In the experiment, one of them was ordered to drink a can of coffee every day until the end of his life. Another was ordered to drink only tea, and to drink it until the end of his life. Gustav III ordered two doctors to oversee the experiment to see how coffee and tea affect the human body differently.
Fragrant, delicious and healthy coffee has been banned
Unfortunately, Gustav III died before the experiment was over. Many years later, the two doctors also died, but the two brothers are still alive. In the end, the lifelong coffee drinker died earlier than his brother, but the former lived to be 83 years old, while the average life expectancy in Sweden was only 38 years old. Obviously, the result of Gustav III’s experiment was just the opposite of what he expected.
For many years to come, Sweden either banned coffee or heavily taxed it. But just as the US finally lifted its ban on alcohol, Sweden finally lifted its ban on coffee. Today Sweden is one of the top ten coffee consuming countries in the world. In fact, when coffee was banned or heavily taxed, the Swedes had a great love for coffee.
Today, coffee is everywhere. If you want to drink coffee, but don’t want to grind and brew your own beans, then just sit at home and order a cup of takeaway coffee. However, we can have the coffee taste today, maybe we should thank the shepherd Kardi.