a storia
(The history)

It is believed coffee beans came from Ethiopia and were used to make coffee since the 800's A.D. The drink enjoyed back then probably bared little resemblance to our filtered brew we find today. From Ethiopia, it spread to Yemen and Egypt, then to Turkey and Persia. It was for the most part a Middle Eastern drink. It is important to remember that Ethiopians, especially the ancient ones, are more racially and culturally similar to the peoples of the Middle East than to what we consider Africans (mostly Western Africans). The cultural ties between Ethiopians and the Middle East helped spread customs such as coffee consumption.

Coffee was introduced to Europe thanks to the Italians, most notably the Venetians. In fact, the first European coffeehouse appeared in Venice. The English word “coffee” comes from the Italian “caffè, which was translated from the Arabic “qahwa”. The drink was not viewed favorably in Europe and was called a Muslim drink or “wine of Islam”. It took the Italian Pope Clement VIII to quell fears and position it as an acceptable Christian drink. Again, the Italians played a major role in something as globally diffused as coffee. Even in Ethiopia, the motherland of Coffee, the Orthodox Christians did not consume it until the 1800's. The Dutch, English, and French helped plant and promote coffee in the Americas and Asia.

Though it is believed that espresso was supposedly invented in the very early 1900's, many believe it was around before then. In 1901, Luigi Bezzera filed for a patent, which was bought 2 years later by Desiderio Pavoni. In 1905, Pavoni's company began manufacturing espresso machines based on Bezzera's idea. Since then, espresso machines have taken many forms with different and easier ways of making “caffè.