Coffee Years

A “Coffee Year” exists only in places where coffee grows and encompasses the time between October 1st and the following September 30th. But since almost four Centuries there have been special years imprinted by events, occurrences and people, enough to earn a special mention in the coffee annals.

This collection of data is truly the result of collecting. Some sources contradict others so here I wish not to portray the historical truth, but give a sketch of coffee culture developments and of some cultures around coffee. Hence this page is constantly subject to change and enhancement.

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1475

  • is considered by some historians as the year in which Kiv Han opened as first Coffeehouse in Constantinople

1511

  • counts as the beginning of coffee service stations throughout Mekka
  • the Stewart Khair Beg in Egypt prohibited the selling of coffee and organised the persecutions of violators. However, his successor loved the drink and lifted the ban.

1517

  • Coffee reaches Constantinople.

1528

  • for the first time cocoa is taken to Europe – by the Spaniards

1554

  • in this year opened the first Coffeehouse in European soil – in Constantinople (todays Istanbul).

1610

  • Tea was sold in Europe for the first time.

1615

  • salesmen bring the first European shipment of green coffee to Venice

1647

  • “Bottega del Caffè” opens as the first coffeehouse in Venice

1650

  • the first Coffeehouse in Oxford is opened

1652

  • with Virginia Coffee-House London has its first coffee address

1659

  • first coffee houses in Marseille.

1668

  • documents show that in this year people in the USA had started drinking coffee with sugar and cinnamon

1670

  • the first Coffeehouses open on the east coast of the USA (in New York, Boston and Philadelphia)

1672

  • in London the women protested that their men were spending too much time in coffeehouses and signed “The Women’s Petition Against Coffee”. With it they also expressed how this situation affected even their sex lives.

1683

  • a legend claims that 200,000 Turks had taken control of Vienna, but as they noticed they were losing the fight, abandoned the city in a hurry, leaving several sacks of coffee behind. The polish officer and interpreter Georg Franz Kolschitzky knew what coffee was and as the King wanted to show gratitude for Kolschitzky’s services, agreed to present him with the coffee sacks. With these Kolschitzky is said to have opened in this year the first Coffeehouse in Vienna. The Viennese were not very fond of coffee, until he started adding milk and sugar to it.

1685

  • this is considered to be truly the year in which Johannes Diodato from Armenia opened the very first Coffeehouse in Vienna. Others consider it to be the Greek Johannes Theodat

1686

  • even though the French were very keen on chocolate, this year saw the opening of the first house selling mainly coffee

1688

  • London’s most famous Coffeehouse was opened by Edward Lloyd, who published the “Lloyd’s List” with news and a list of the ships insured by his merchants

1720

  • ‘Zum Arabischen Coffee Baum’ opens as the first Coffeehouse in Leipzig. Today it is considered the second oldest Coffeehouse in Europe still operating.

1721

  • it is Berlins turn to become a Coffeehouse.

1727

  • the first coffee plants arrive in Brazil. An army officer, Francisco de Melo, brought the plant from French Guayana.

1732/34

  • with his “Coffee-Cantata” Johann Sebastian Bach expresses some critic and humour about the rumors of coffee affecting femal fertility

1773

  • this is the year of the Boston Tea Party. England raised the tea taxes for the Northamericans, without letting have a say in the Parliament. Many dressed in disguise, infiltrated the ships, threw the tea overboard and started drinking coffee instead of tea.

1780

  • Frederic the Great proclaimed the “Hildesheimer Coffee Prohibition” to avoid paying too much for the expensive coffee import. He prefered that the people consume their local beer

1820

  • the Pharmacist and Chemist Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge separated caffeine from coffee after Wolfgang von Goethe moved him to find out what the active ingredient was. Others achieved this as well, but Runge is considered to have been the first one and thus the discoverer of caffeine.

1850

  • in this year one of the greatest coffee drinkers died. The French writer Honoré de Balzac drank some 60 cups of coffee daily.He worked days on end without pause, while drinking coffee and eating only eggs and fruits. When he paused to eat, he ate uncountable amounts of food. It is said that he once ate some 100 oysters, a dozen cutlets, a duck and several desserts and liqueur.

1881

  • in this year the development began, which led to constructing the thermos. Thanks to experiments by the Scottish chemist James Dewar, who had constructed a system of mirrors to reflect warmth in 1893, Adolf Ferdinand Weinhold from Chemnitz who had also developed the same system independently in 1881, as well as glass technician Reinhold Burger who had his own patent. The production started in 1920.

1903

  • the Coffee Merchant (and Nazi supporter) Ludwig Roselius started studying the effects of coffee on the human body, after his father died (1902) af the age of 59 and the doctors blamed it on his coffee habits. Along with the coffee merchant Christian Detlefsen he worked on perfectioning the separation of caffeine from coffee and obtained its patent in 1904 leading to the production of decaffeinated coffee.

1906

  • in this year the Japanese-American chemist Satori Kato from Chicago invented the instant coffee. It was however taken into mass production by George Constant Washington, an English chemist from Guatemala. His Red E Coffee was ready for the market in 1909.

1908

  • Melitta Bentz from Dresden was interested in brewing coffee in such a way that the coffee does not become bitter due to overbrewing. She made several experiments until she obtained the best results with the papier her son used in school. Her Melitta Coffeefilter was first presented on June 20th of this year

1936

  • Leopold and Josefine Hawelka open their Café Alt Wien on the same day they married. In the beginning the Café was their home as well. The money was not enough to pay for a flat.

1939

  • the Hawelkas open their prominent Kaffeehaus “Café Hawelka” because Café Alt Wien had become more expensive

1971

  • the student-friends Gordon Bowker, Gerald Baldwin and Zev Siegl opened their “Starbuks Coffee, Spice, Tee” in Seattle, Washington, USA.

2005

  • the Great Lady of the Vienna Coffeehouses, Josefina Hawelka, passes away.

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