Common Grounds and the Good Roots of Coffee

Common Grounds and the Good Roots of Coffee

Where did it all begin? What sparked coffee becoming the world’s favorite drink? And why?

It’s interesting. Like many great things, it was accidental destiny. A long time ago, an Ethiopian goat-herder noticed his goats acting funny after stumbling across and consuming a new kind of berry. He observed that the berries from this tree gave his goats a sudden spike of energy, later followed by insomnia. Supposedly, the goat-herder stopped by the local monastery for an opinion on the magic, and in some turn of events the monks roasted and made drink of the special berries, with the same results as the goats. The monks quickly found the utility of this for extra alertness and endurance in long hours of nightly prayer. 

It didn’t take long for word to spread about this new concoction. Coffee traveled and the trade popularized on the Arabian Peninsula. The new drink quickly became a staple in homes and coffee houses began sprouting up. Coffee and its business caught on like wildfire; coffee houses became regular spots for a variety of social activities, including music, updates on local happenings, and important discussions between leaders and scholars.

By the 17th century Europe caught the contagion. Coffee houses became a central tenet to the social scene in cities. Eventually and finally, when colonists switched to coffee after protesting the tea tax with their famous tea party, it found an integral home. It is actually said that the American revolution was planned in a coffee house, among other important matters.

Coffee was and still is a substance for people of all kinds to gather around. What began as a drink for keeping monks awake to pray has become a physical medium, catalyst, and common ground for conversation. Coffee brings folks to the table, and at the table much can be accomplished, learned, grown, and changed.



Written By: Bryce Timmons

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