Before you pop the top on that bottle of brownish liquid, did you ever wonder just what goes into a coffee beverage? Not the stuff on the ingredients wrapper either, but what really went into the coffee beverage in your hand. A whole lot of history is what went into coffee. From the pre-Columbian tribes to the modern drive-thru, coffee has really come a long way.
Counting Beans: About Coffee Beverage History
South American Indians first discovered the coffee bean well before the discovery of the New World. Its invigorating properties helped them deal with the altitudes, and were very popular. Then came the Spanish Conquistadores (here is where the bean found its way into western history and culture). When the Spanish came to the New World, they were searching for cities of gold, and instead found vast resources and new products to trade back in Europe.
Chocolate, tobacco, and coffee swiftly took over the continent. Overnight coffee houses sprang up, serving coffee beverages hot with a side of gossip or politics. People used the coffee houses as places to gather and discuss the events of the day and just how they felt about them. This was, of course, a pastime for the rich who had the time to sit around and do this kind of business.
Farmers working the fields did not often get the chance to sit and discuss the great discoveries of the Age of Reason while sipping their coffee beverage. This did serve to limit the popularity of the drink until the Americans came along with mass production methods that made coffee cheaper. Now, everyone could afford a daily coffee beverage
In the last century, the pressures for time during the World Wars made instant coffee popular. Instant coffee had been developed earlier, but the method of boiling the coffee beverage down until the oils solidified out left it tasting rather burned. A method for extracting it in a cold process, using a vacuum to dry the coffee beverage down, made instant coffee popular.
All this convenience, however, did not make for a better cup of coffee, and by the late 1980s people were starting to seek out better flavor, and gourmet coffee places started springing up. These places relied on exotic beans and flavors to entice people to spend a bit more for a better coffee beverage.
Soon, the coffee was found to be so smooth that people were liking it cold as well, and this led to the birth of the bottled coffee beverage that haunts vending machines everywhere. Now you can see a lot of the history that you hold in your hand, and can appreciate just how far it had to come to get there.