An estimated 95 million cups of Coffee are consumed in the UK per day. Across the pond, in the United States, that number rises to 400 million cups. And its influence is spreading and growing all the time.

But who discovered Coffee? When did it take place? Where did it begin? These questions will be answered in the following article, so please keep reading to find out more.

We will start by determining in which country was Coffee first discovered before pinpointing the era. We will then investigate who invented Coffee (the brew, not the beans).

Once you know the facts, you can buy and try Fresh Coffee with The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company. Our family-run establishment takes pride in packing every product fresh to order.

Where Does Coffee Originate From

Where Does Coffee Originate From?

Everyone’s favourite infusion is today found around the world. From Brazillian Coffee to New Guinea Coffee; from Kenya Coffee to Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee, the possibilities are almost endless.

The question nevertheless begs: Where did Coffee originate from? It had to have started somewhere, after all - a place where it first appeared and then spread. That place is Ethiopia in East Africa.

Ethiopia is indeed the birthplace of Fresh Coffee, where it has played a significant role in the regional culture for centuries. Over 12 million people currently work in the local industry from cultivation to picking to processing.

Such is its intrinsic role in Ethiopian society that it appears in many expressions dealing with life, food and interpersonal relationships.

The people of Ethiopia have a common Coffee saying, which is “Buna dabo naw.” This literally translates to “Coffee is our bread,” illustrating its level of importance as a source of sustenance while showcasing its overall popularity.

There is also “Buna Tetu,” an Amharic phrase meaning, simply, “Drink Coffee.” It applies not only to the act of drinking a brew but also to socialise with loved ones.

When was coffee invented

When was Coffee Invented?

You know the answer to, “Where was Coffee invented?” Allow us now to move on to, “When was Coffee discovered?” The truth is that no one knows 100%.

Most historians believe it happened sometime during the 9th or 10th centuries CE - but when, exactly, remains a mystery. All that appears certain is that, upon finding its roots in Abyssinia (modern-day Ethiopia), it spread to the Middle-East and then beyond.

In 1454, the Mufti of Aden in Yemen, Sheikh Gemaleddin Abou Muhammad Bensaid, visited Abyssinia and realised his love for Coffee. He took it back to his homeland from where it travelled to Mecca and eastwards to Sri Lanka and India.

In 1517, Coffee had reached Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul in Turkey). Around a century later, in 1615, Venetian traders brought it to Europe.

Drinking Coffee in England began in 1650 when the first Coffee House opened in Oxford. This was followed shortly after by a London-based establishment in 1652.

The American Revolution (1775-1783) prompted widespread consumption in the former thirteen colonies after Black Tea was deemed to be too “British.” Making a cuppa from these remarkable beans has since taken hold globally.

Who Invented Coffee?

Who Invented Coffee?

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let us return to Ethiopia in around 850 CE (emphasis on “around”) to find out who discovered Coffee. This is where things get interesting because, according to some, the idea of consuming Coffee Beans was not popularised by a human, but a goat. Legend has it that a herder named Kaldi, who lived in today’s Kaffa Province, saw his animals grazing on an unknown plant.

The goats’ energy levels appeared boosted after eating the berries as they pranced around excitedly. Kaldi, intrigued by their hyperactivity, decided to try the fruit of the plant himself.

He, too, felt a sense of elation, and so stuffed his pockets with the berries and headed home to his wife. It was decided between them that he should seek counsel with the nearby monastery.

Kaldi presented the chief monk with the berries, who was less than enthusiastic, exclaiming that they must be the Devil’s work. The monk subsequently threw them into a fire to ward off evil spirits.

However, within minutes, the room filled with an intoxicating aroma as the beans roasted. He then retrieved and crushed them to extinguish the embers before placing them in an ewer filled with hot water.

You can probably see where this is going. The first cup of Coffee had been created by pure accident. The monks vowed to drink it daily to keep them awake during their nightly devotions. And its consumption spent only a short time within the monastery walls before heading further afield. So in the end, who discovered Coffee? Was it the goats, Kaldi or the monks? We’ll let you decide.

Conclusion to Who Discovered Coffee and its Origins

This article has explored where Coffee was discovered, when and how Coffee was discovered, and who was the greatest contributor to its popularisation.

All that’s left is to buy Fresh Coffee or even Loose Tea from The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company. The fact that we pack these items fresh to order ensures quality and consistency. What more could you want from your brew?  

Author: Richard Smith

Partner at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company

Richard Smith is a Tea expert, entrepreneur, and owner of The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company. Part of a family of renowned Tea planters dating back four generations, he was born in Calcutta (Kolkata), India, where he spent his childhood between Tea Estates in Assam and Darjeeling.

In the late 1970s, having accumulated years of knowledge in the industry, Mr Smith and his mother, Janet Smith, moved to Kent, South East England, to establish a Tea business in the village of Pluckley. Their early days of packing Tea Bags by hand from chests of 10,000 prompted the creation of the company’s flagship infusion known as Pluckley Tea. It remains our most popular product today.

Mr Smith, who studied economics at London Polytechnic, has since specialised in over 1,000 types of Loose Leaf Tea - in addition to around 70 varieties of Roast Coffee - from around the world. These are now available at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company, where everything is still packed by hand and fresh to order, not only to honour tradition but to ensure the utmost quality and consistency.