Who Dreamed Up Coffee?

dreaming of coffee

I think it’s interesting that tea and coffee are pretty much universal beverages.

Why tea and coffee? How did tea and coffee get invented? Who thought to pick red berries off of a bush and put them in a place to dry them out, and then remove the outer dried skin and extract the bean inside, and then roast it, and then crush up that roasted bean, and then run hot water through it, and then drink the result?

I mean, really! That’s a long process that at any single point could have been done badly or had a step omitted and coffee as we know it now just would not have happened.

And with tea, the same thing. Who thought to pick a plant and dry it out and run a bunch of hot water through it and then drink that water? Really? How bizarre!

The fact that coffee and tea exists in different forms the world over is also amazing. Either multiples of people went through the same crazy process I described above (how, I don’t know) on completely separate continents, or one person took the idea from one continent to another and spread the joy that way.

However it happened, I know that I can enjoy a cup of tea or coffee pretty much anywhere in the world.

True, it has different faces and presentations.

I remember when I visited Europe for the first time, I was truly shocked at the size of the coffee cups in the cafes and homes. Or rather, the amount of the coffee served in the small coffee cups. It seemed like just a few tablespoons. And no refills!

Coming from the U.S., where at any restaurant or home you get served a big old mug filled to the brim with coffee, followed by as many refills as your little heart desires, the contrast with the European cuplets with their few tablespoons of beverage was almost laughable. Until you got the bill, of course, at which point nothing was funny.

I think South American coffee more closely resembles European coffee than American coffee. I understand that it’s served in little tinto cups and is thick and strong.

Come to think of it, I think American coffee is the only place where it’s served in such large portions with endless refills. I kind of wonder about that, too. Is that because we just do everything large? Or because we are generous? Or because we’re greedy? Who knows. But it’s kind of interesting to think about.

Well, that’s about my sum total of thoughts for now on the subject of coffee and tea.

Except for one last one: it doesn’t matter what country I’m in, I love to try its particular versions of coffee and tea. Every place serves it slightly differently, and it’s fun to experience them all.

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