Caffeine Trivia 11.23.13

Grab your cup of coffee and enjoy some great coffee history: By the late 1600’s the Dutch were growing coffee at Malabar in India and in 1699 took some plants to Batavia in Java, in what is now Indonesia.  Within a few years the Dutch colonies had become the main suppliers of coffee to Europe, where coffee had first been brought by Venetian traders in 1615. This was a period when the two other globally significant hot beverages also appeared in Europe.  Hot chocolate was the first, brought by the Spanish from the Americas to Spain in 1528; and tea, which was first sold in Europe in 1610.  At first coffee was mainly sold by lemonade vendors and was believed to have medicinal qualities.  The first European coffeehouse opened in Venice in 1683, with the most famous, Caffe Florian in Piazza San Marco, opening in 1720.  It is still open for business today. The largest insurance market in the world, Lloyd’s of London, began life as a coffeehouse.  It was started in 1688 by Edward Lloyd, who prepared lists of the ships that his customers had insured.

The first literary reference to coffee being drunk in North America is from 1668 and, soon after, coffee houses were established in New York, Philadelphia, Boston and other towns.  The Boston Tea Party Of 1773 was planned in a coffee house, the Green Dragon.  Both the New York Stock Exchange and the Bank of New York started in coffeehouses in what is today known as Wall Street.

Source: International Coffee Organization

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