A few decades ago, coffee in America meant a big communal pot of acrid, filtered slush that was omnipresent in every office and barely drinkable. It’s almost hard to remember with our present reality of cold-brewed, nitro-pressed coffee shops on every corner. Without a doubt, the journey that American society has undergone–becoming a nation of coffee fiends in the process–is a fascinating one.
There’s a lot to learn about coffee, and it’s only getting more popular: a full 69% of Americans drink 2 or more cups of coffee a day. While multiple cultures claim to have originated the coffee-drinking habit, the first confirmed record of coffee being drunk comes from Yemen in the 15th century.
In the 17th century, trade with the Middle East swept coffee into Europe, where it proved instantly popular; the Dutch, Parisians, and Venetians were particularly keen early adopters of the tradition. By the 18th century, coffee had reached the New World, with revolutionaries drinking it in lieu of tea as part of their protest against British taxation. James A. Folger even began marketing the drink to miners during the California Gold Rush. Nowadays, with 29,324 Starbucks shops around the country, it’s clear that coffee is an all-consuming love affair…and America isn’t about to break up any time soon.