Starting from the Muslim world
Research by William H. Ukers in All About Coffee (1922) indicates that coffee was indigenous to Abyssinia, and perhaps from Arabica coffee traders, coffea plant coffee cultivation was widespread throughout the tropics.
On the other hand, the first reliable mention of the properties and uses of coffee belongs to an Arab physician in the late ninth century (BC). The tree was discovered growing wild in Abyssinia.
So if that’s true, the Arabs must be recognized for finding and promoting the use of coffee drinks and expanding the propagation & cultivation of this plant.
Indeed, the discovery of the drink led to the cultivation of plants in Abyssinia and Arabia. Still, contrary to the bustling commercial trade at the port of Mocha, Yemen, the popularity of coffee seeds slowed in the 15th and 16th centuries when the Arabs desired to monopolize the economic benefits of coffee.
Coffee “hidden” its origins from the rest of the world – as mentioned in the 16th-17th century coffee history. Coffee beans are dried or boiled before export to avoid germinating outside the Arab borders.
However, it is impossible to control every route leading into Arabia, with thousands of pilgrims going to and from Mecca each year.
All About Coffee author William H. Ukers has found descendants of these early coffee trees growing under the canopy of ancient forests for centuries. It wasn’t until 1840 that British colonists started growing coffee in India.
Coffee history on VOC cruises
Botanists understood the coffee plant in the latter part of the 16th century. In 1614, enterprising Dutch merchants began to study the possibilities of growing and trading coffee.
In 1616, a coffee tree was successfully transported from Mocha to the Netherlands. In 1670, an attempt was made to grow coffee on European soil at Dijon, France – but the result was a failure.
In 1696, Amsterdam Nicholas Witsen ordered the Malabar, India VOC commander Adrian van Ommen to bring the beans to Batavia or what is now known as Jakarta. By 1699, another attempt was made with coffee plants brought from Malabar into Java, marking the first success and becoming the ancestor of all coffees of the Dutch East Indies.
Return to Europe
In 1706, the first samples of Java coffee and a coffee tree planted in Java returned to the Amsterdam Botanical Garden. Many of these plants were then bred from this coffee lot distributed to some of the most famous private greenhouses and botanical gardens in Europe.
While the Dutch were expanding coffee cultivation to Sumatra, Celebes, Timor, Bali, and other islands of the East Indies, the French were looking to introduce coffee into their colonies. Several attempts have been made to transfer saplings from the Amsterdam Botanical Garden to the Paris Botanical Garden, but all have failed.
The next day, it was moved to the Jardin des Plantes in Paris, where it was cared for by Antoine de Jussieu, professor in charge of botany. This plant was destined to be the ancestor of most coffees present in the French colonies, as well as throughout the Caribbean, South, and Central America.
In the Journey Across the Atlantic
Twice, the transatlantic attempt was made to transport the descendants of the coffee tree gifted to King Louis XIV to the Antilles (area of the Caribbean Sea and considered a subregion of North America).
And the final honor of success went to Gabriel Mathieu de Clieu, a naval officer who was captain of the infantry at Martinique. The story of de Clieu ‘s achievement is the most romantic chapter in the history of spreading the coffee plant worldwide.
The conquest in the end
In Brazil, the first coffee plantation appeared in Pará in 1723 with coffee trees brought from the colony of French Guiana, but it was not successful. Intensification in Brazil dates back to the early efforts of the Portuguese colonies of Pará and Amazonas in 1752.
In 1760 João Alberto Castell Branco brought Rio de Janeiro a coffee plant from Goa (Indian colonial region. Portuguese degrees).
Word spread quickly that Brazil’s soil and climate were particularly suited to grow coffee, so Molke, a Belgian monk, donated some seeds to the Capuchin monastery in Rio in 1774. Then, the bishop of Rio, Joachim Bruno, became a proponent of coffee and encouraged its cultivation in Rio.
The slave plantations of coffee
On other timelines, with the extensive colonial system, the British, French, and Spanish empires. have contributed to widely spreading coffee farming worldwide. By 1750, coffee trees were planted. Present on five continents.
Before Gabriel de Clieu’s journey took place, In 1718, the Dutch brought coffee cultivation to Surinam, starting the cultivation of coffee trees on the South American continent. Coffee had a precarious existence in the Guianas colonies.
They were initially brought from Amsterdam by the Dutch in 1718 (or 1720). They thrived in new habitats and, in 1725, were introduced from Dutch Guiana into British Guiana and French Guiana. There the coffee tree was remarkably successful for some time.
The British brought the coffee plant to Jamaica in 1730, And as noted earlier, they started growing coffee in India in 1840. Farther in the continent, the British began to spread the coffee plant. In the Central African colony in 1878, it was not until 1901 that coffee cultivation entered British East Africa.
- In 1740, Spanish missionaries brought coffee into the Philippines from Java.
- In 1748, Don José Antonio Gelabert brought coffee seeds from Santo Domingo into Cuba. From Cuba, the coffee plant was brought to Costa Rica in 1779 and Salvador in 1852.
- In Venezuela, the coffee industry was started in Caracas by priest Jose Antonio Mohedano, with seeds brought back from Martinique in 1784.
- Coffee farming in Mexico began in 1790 with seeds brought from the West Indies.
- In 1825, coffee trees appeared in the Hawaiian Islands with seeds from Rio de Janeiro.
- In 1887, the French brought coffee to Tonkin (Tonkin, Vietnam) and the whole Indo-china area (Indochina peninsula).