A Culture of Coffee

photo from Pixabay


Coffee has in turn been a ritual drink, a religious sacrament, a forbidden beverage, and a staple of everyday life. No other beverage can claim such an important impact on human culture, and coffee remains the second most consumed beverage in the world today.

 In the 13th century, Muslims drank coffee as part of their religious ceremonies, finding that the brew kept worshippers awake and able to spend more time in prayer. As Islam spread across the globe, so did the practice of drinking coffee. In 16th century Turkey, coffee was such an important part of daily life that a woman was allowed to divorce her husband if he was unable to provide her with ample amounts of coffee.

 Coffee has often been used as a bribe or a reward for political favors and as such, has helped to shape the economy of many countries, most notably Brazil. The vast amount of coffee produced in Brazil has helped turn this beverage from an elite indulgence into an everyday drink almost everywhere in the world. Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world, behind petroleum.  It is also the largest food import for the United States. With over 25 million farmers in 50 different countries, it’s easy to see the global impact of the coffee industry. 

 Getting together over a cup of coffee to discuss business or relax with friends is an almost universal ritual. Visit any country on the globe and it’s a sure bet you will be able to find a cup of coffee to relax with.


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