It’s actually unclear. Although we know that coffee originated in Indonesia, and there are quite a few stories linked to its usage as a beverage, we don’t know exactly when people began to drink coffee.
It came to Europe through the Middle East sometime around the 11th or 12th century, but it wasn’t terribly popular for a couple centuries longer.
If you’re interested, the coffee section of “A History of the World in Six Glasses” has more information about the history of the beverage.
Coffee has been around for a very long time. Originating in Arabia, humans first starting roasting the beans and brewing coffee there sometime around 1000 A.D. Muslims then began drinking the coffee for the stimulant effects of worshipers, and they brought the tradition with them as Islam spread to North Africa, India, and the eastern Mediterranean regions. The habit of drinking coffee eventually made the transition from religious experiences to everyday life, and popularity spread. It wasn’t until the 1600’s that someone was able to smuggle fertile seeds outside of Arabia, simultaneously introducing Europe to coffee and giving other countries the opportunity to produce their own.
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