Coffee is enjoyed by people all over the world and Starbucks has become a household name, all thanks to the extreme popularity of the beverage, which can be consumed both hot and cold. But recently, people on Twitter have started debating whether coffee is racist.
It all started when an article published by AFRU Magazine in March raised questions about coffee’s racist history. It also claimed that it upholds systems of white supremacy.
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Twitter is debating that the history of coffee is linked to colonialism. However, this is not a novel concept. “I don’t drink coffee. Does that make me racist or anti-racist? It’s very confusing,” one Twitter user joked.
The history of coffee dates back centuries of old oral tradition. Coffee plants grew wild in Yemen and were widely used by nomadic tribes for thousands of years. Sufi monasteries in Yemen employed coffee as an aid to concentration during prayers.
— Jewish Guy (@maysideCEO) March 20, 2023
Brazil has been the top producer of coffee for over 150 years, cultivating Robusta and Arabica beans. The second topmost producer is Vietnam followed by Colombia. In the 1800s, Coffee was introduced in Vietnam by French colonialists. Indonesia is the fourth largest producer, known for its Java beans.
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Where did coffee originate?
The Coffee plant is said to have originated in Ethiopia hundreds of years ago. It is the sixth-largest global producer. Its origin of coffee dates back to the 17th century when it was first discovered by a goat-herder named Kaldi. It is believed that Kaldi noticed the goats had enough energy to stay up late into the night after eating berries from a particular tree. Kaldi took them to a local monastery. He then made a liquid concoction from them, which was the earliest form of drinkable coffee.
Gradually, coffee began to be grown in the Yemeni district of Arabia, neighboring Ethiopia, and trade started in this region in the 15th century. By the 16th century, coffee began to be traded across Persia, Egypt, and Syria. After conquering Egypt, the Ottoman Empire came into possession of coffee beans and was the first to bring coffee to Europe.