In 1971, one of the most iconic coffee shop chains opened its doors for the very first time in Seattle, Washington. Starbucks, brainchild of CEO Howard Schultz, became the hub for European-style coffee and true Italian café culture in America.
But coffee culture doesn’t begin and end with Starbucks, no matter how many locations are within a three-block vicinity. The earliest known records of coffee drinking actually originate in 15th century Yemen, and there it would stay for hundreds of years before any European got a taste. A brief history of the coffee bean mirrors that of the world itself, documenting the ebb and flow of cultures, the interactions of empires, even political unrest. Coffee has been used as an act of defiance against unjust rulers, it has been used to fuel and finance trade routes, and it’s been the driving force for invention, entrepreneurship, and entertainment.
Almost 70% of Americans drink two or more cups of coffee day – there even may be a good chance you’re drinking one right now. Take a look at this infographic for more on coffee culture and how we can learn from its past to look towards the future.