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How Coffee Came to America

Updated on January 22, 2013

Hot coffee

My cup of coffee!
My cup of coffee! | Source

Coffee Comes to America in the 18th Century

As I sit sipping my cup of coffee this morning I can’t help wondering from where in the world this magnificent beverage originated.

Coffee is grown all around the world, and as far back as historians can trace, the discovery of coffee was made centuries ago in the forests on the Ethiopian plateau. According to ancient stories, the goats of the Ethiopian highlands would eat the berries and become high-spirited, not wanting to sleep at night. So, of course humans, desiring that same lift decided to consume the berries themselves. This was the beginning of the coffee-drinking society.

In the fifteenth century, the Arabs began cultivating coffee and by the sixteenth century, Persia, Egypt, Syria, and Turkey followed suit. As the popularity and desire for coffee developed over time, coffee became an acceptable drink by all. People consumed coffee in their homes and before long, people gathered in public places to socialize at coffee houses. Coffee was brought to Europe in the seventeenth century. And, by the eighteenth century, both coffee and tea were equally consumed. But then the Boston Tea Party of 1773 changed that, and drinking tea became unpatriotic. Giving up the consumption of tea, Americans then made coffee their beverage of choice and America then became one of the largest consumers of coffee.

Even in times of economic hardship, the consumption of coffee in America remains stable. “Consumers still see coffee as an integral part of their everyday lives,” said Robert Nelson, President and CEO of the National Coffee Association. “Even if economic conditions cause some to alter their coffee choices, they are nonetheless continuing to enjoy coffee at levels very much on par with recent years.”

Some Interesting Facts about Coffee in America:

  • On average, Americans consume 450 million cups of coffee per day, which adds up to over 150 billion cups consumed in an entire year. The average American over the age of 18 drinks about three and a half cups of coffee each person per day.
  • Seattle has the most coffee shops per capital in the United States (35 per 100,000). Following Seattle are the cities of Portland, San Jose, Denver and San Francisco.
  • American conglomerates such as Nestle, Philip Morris, Procter & Gamble, and Sara Lee dominate world coffee markets, accounting for 60 percent of U.S. sales and 40 percent of the global coffee trade.
  • The only U.S. state that grows coffee is Hawaii. Coffee is also grown in Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory.

I found a wonderful website with lots of historical data about coffee. For more information about the history of coffee, how to store coffee, how to brew coffee, coffee recipes, types of coffee roasts, and more, visit the National Coffee Association USA:

I found this delectable coffee recipe called Café Mexicano at the National Coffee Association USA web site. You will find more delicious coffee recipes when you visit their web site, too. In the meantime, try this coffee recipe to start.

Café Mexicano

  • 4 teaspoons chocolate syrup
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1-½ cups strong hot coffee

Put 1 teaspoon chocolate syrup into each of 4 coffee cups.

Combine the heavy cream, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar and whip until it forms soft peaks.

Stir remaining ½ teaspoon cinnamon into the hot coffee. Divide the coffee evenly between the 4 cups and stir each to blend the coffee with the chocolate syrup.

Top each cup with the spiced whipped cream and serve immediately.

Enjoy your cup of coffee!

If you are a coffee drinker, you are a significant part of the coffee consumption society, and the next time you sit down with your cup of Joe, Java, brew, or whatever you call your indulgence, relax and enjoy the thought that you are in the company of millions of other people in America.

Inspirational Video

During my coffee research I came across a video about how life is like a cup of coffee. I invite you to pour yourself a cup of coffee, then sit and relax while you watch this beautiful and inspirational video.

Life is Like a Cup of Coffee

Coffee Information Sources:

Coffee Research:

National Coffee Association USA:

International Coffee Organization:

Coffee Marvel:


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    • eroller profile image

      Liheng 4 years ago from Shanghai

      I will try it next time. sugar is a problem for me, too many coke, too many sweet coffee...

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 4 years ago from Northern California, USA

      Hi eroller. Here is a follow-up on the Nectresse. I tried it in my coffee the next morning. My coffee still didn't seem to be as sweet as when I use regular cane sugar. But, it didn't have that after taste that so many other sugar substitutes have. I'll give it another try, but if I had to cut out cane sugar, then this product made from monk fruit is the best substitute I have found. Fortunately, I also like to drink my coffee black with nothing added.

    • eroller profile image

      Liheng 4 years ago from Shanghai

      Sounds great. I know that Monk Fruit is used as traditional herbal medicine, helpful for laryngo-pharyngitis. It is sweeter than sugar. I guess you found the best healthy substitute. Unfortunately, I cannot get Nectresse in my area.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 4 years ago from Northern California, USA

      Hi eroller! I like sugar! My problem is I have not found anything I like as a substitute. But... just this evening I was shopping and I found a "natural" sugar called "Nectresse". It is made by the maker of Splenda. Nectresse is made from Monk Fruit. I just dipped my finger into the single serve pack and tasted it. I like it! So far so good. But, I'm not fooled by the term "natural". After all "real" sugar comes from sugar cane and sugar cane is natural, too. Right?

    • eroller profile image

      Liheng 4 years ago from Shanghai

      I like coffee with sugar & milk. The problem is the know sugar means what... bad

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 4 years ago from Northern California, USA

      Hi Crystal Tatum. Yes, it is interesting that the humans copied the goats. I guess they saw the energy level and wanted some of that for themselves. It worked. And, yes, you are so right about the number of inventions we have created that have caused us harm. Fortunately (for now, anyway) I haven't suffered any major side effects from drinking coffee. I don't drink those huge mugs of coffee. My coffee cups are standard sized versus super sized. That might be the difference.

    • Crystal Tatum profile image

      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Well, I do drink more Starbucks than I should, but at least I don't drink 3 1/2 cups per day! How interesting that humans decided to copy the goats! We're always looking for an extra lift, and often, doesn't it cause us pain. How many substances have we invented that caused all kinds of health conditions?

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 4 years ago from Northern California, USA

      Hi DDE, I am glad you found this interesting. It was a fun hub to write and I learned a lot about coffee myself.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I had no idea of how coffee came to USA, I enjoyed learning more about coffee and the interesting facts too

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 4 years ago from Northern California, USA

      Hi MarieAlana1, thank you for your feedback. And, thank you for sharing about your coffee blog. I will definitely visit it.

    • MarieAlana1 profile image

      Marie Alana 4 years ago from Ohio

      Great hub! Even, though, I have seen that inspirational video a number of times before it hit me in a special place today. Thanks!

      It's kind of like this. "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get (Forrest Gump)." Instead of never knowing what we are going to get, we should make the best of whatever we get out of life.

      I have a coffee blog that covers more things on coffee. You should check it out by googling: citmorning coffee.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 5 years ago from Northern California, USA

      Hello Michael-Milec. It is people like you who make Hubpages a wonderful place to be. Thank you for your compliment. I am, indeed flattered. And, you will find the video to be a real treat. It is not your typical video, as there is a message about life in this very inspirational video. It is only 3 minutes and 32 seconds of your time and your coffee will still be hot when the video is done.

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 5 years ago

      Hello MarleneB.

      Gratifying .

      You're an inspiring writer. Your commenting to the question ' how do you feel after reading a really good Hub...' have brought me to this page - following you. My need is to learn and to know as much as I can the secrecy of art writing in this beautiful and rich English language. ( Please put up with me. Thank you )

      Though I've read attentively , I failed to listen to this inspirational video with a cup of coffee. Sorry. Perhaps next time with a cup of Cafe Mexicano, sounds close to a heavenly treat.

      Thanks for great write. Voted Up & awesome .

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 5 years ago from Northern California, USA

      Oh yes, alocsin, definitely Seattle is right there with the biggies when it comes to current associations with coffee. I guess they have been a part of the coffee industry so long that now they can be included as part of the "history" of coffee, too. Thank you very much for your feedback - very valuable, indeed.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I believe Seattle was also where the current coffee shop craze was invented -- it was where Starbucks and Seattle's Best Coffee, among others, got started. Voting this Up and Interesting.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 5 years ago from Northern California, USA

      I had fun learning the history of how coffee came to America. What a journey it was. Thank you, rajan jolly for leaving a comment.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Marlene,it is exciting learning how coffee came to be recognized as something that could keep one awake and to this day it is used to keep oneself alert and going.

      Great work of tracing its history down to the present.

      Voting up, interesting and sharing.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 5 years ago from Northern California, USA

      Indeed, lindacee , you are in good company. I enjoy my daily dose of coffee. It could be a habit, but oh well. Coffee is receiving some great accolades in the health arena, so I think I'll keep the pot brewing. Thank you for reading and for commenting.

    • lindacee profile image

      lindacee 5 years ago from Arizona

      What an information-packed Hub! An enjoyable read and I learned new things in the process! I must be a truly average American -- I drink 3 cups per day and no more. I would find it hard to give up my coffee first thing in the morning. Addicted? Probably so, but apparently I'm in good company! :)

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 5 years ago from Northern California, USA

      You are so right, billybuc - about writers writing about anything. Just the other day, I opened the package holding a new bar of soap and read the back of it. I jotted down the ingredients and then compared the ingredients of the soap bar to the ingredients of bath gel. Instantly, I saw a hub in the making.

      I started drinking coffee in college to help me stay awake to study. Now, I drink it for fun. I enjoy learning about the things I consume and use and when I can make a hub about it, well, I'm a writer; I can't help myself. Thank you for reading and for commenting.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love this hub, and not because it's about coffee, although it was interesting and I learned a, I love this hub because it shows that there is an article about practically anything in our daily lives....I was looking at the ingredients on a bottle of mustard yesterday and came up with a hub idea. LOL We writers are a strange group! :)

      Good job with this; we west coast residents sure drink a lot of coffee, don't we?

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 5 years ago from Northern California, USA

      Hi Routledge, coffee is my drink of the day. It is one of those things I treat myself to on a regular basis. I don't know why, but I an intrigued by the history of coffee, how it's made and I guess anything there is to know about coffee. Have fun on your tour. If you get a chance, come back and share your experience. Take care!

    • Routledge profile image

      Routledge 5 years ago

      I run the biggest coffee shop in my part of the country. I am going on a tour of the roasting facilities we own in a few weeks! I am so excited as I wonder the exact same things. Interesting to know a bit about the product I push everyday! Thanks!

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 5 years ago from Northern California, USA

      Hi J.S.Matthew. We have a lot in common - coffee! I really enjoy that beverage a lot and glad I am not alone. Thank you for your comment and for sharing.

    • J.S.Matthew profile image

      JS Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I love my coffee! This was an interesting read and I learned a lot about my favorite beverage. I am voting up and sharing!


    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Thanks for that recipe. I like to have a nice dessert treat when friends come - what can be better than that delectable cup of Cafe Mexicana?

      In fact I have some coffee from Ethiopia - think I will have a cup right now. Rated up and yay!

    • profile image

      warden-law 6 years ago

      Coffee is a big part of my life, great hub.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 6 years ago from Northern California, USA

      creativelycc - Thank you for your compliment. I am glad you enjoyed the video. I watched it a few times while I enjoyed my second cup of coffee for the day.

      CloudExplorer - Thank you for your feedback. Also, thank you for the information about the coffee enema. I didn't come across that in my research. But, I am anxious to read more about it, especially your hub about a possible cure for cancer.

    • CloudExplorer profile image

      Mike Pugh 6 years ago from New York City

      This is a cool informative hub indeed on the history of coffee, I like the way you've presented your info and visual content the most, because I'm not really a coffee drinker at all.

      The funny thing about it all is that I was looking to see if you had any info on the Coffee enema, I was wondering if you ever heard of such a thing. It might be a great subject of interest to you, just look up a Dr. Max Gerson, and the Coffee enema. It all relates to a possible cure for cancer, which I also wrote a hub on a while back.

      Thanks for sharing and this one is definitely getting voted up.

    • creativelycc profile image

      Carrie L. Cronkite 6 years ago from Maine

      What a beautiful hub. Very well researched and written. The video is awesome. Voted up! I too love coffee.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 6 years ago from Northern California, USA

      Thank you MsKejci. I love coffee, too. I'm actually on my statistically average third cup of coffee right now.