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Fuelling The Nation: Coffee Culture

Fuelling The Nation: Coffee Culture

By Ryan Merrifield

Beginning its life in the early 16th Century coffee houses of Arabia, coffee culture is an essential part of everyday life and whether it’s a ‘cup of Joe’, a ‘java’, or a ‘caffeine fix’ that you’re after, the different coffees of the world offer their own blends and strengths to suit the individual preference of worldwide coffee lovers.  Traditionally used to promote social interaction and commercial activity among the elite, the visiting of coffee houses and drinking of caffeine continues to hold key social purpose across the globe, with coffee now standing as one of the world’s most beloved and sought after drinks.
The history of coffee is believed to have started in Ethiopia, where a goat herder walking through a highland area noticed his goats had begun to act strangely.  Observing one goat becoming very energised after eating red berries from a nearby shrub, he took the berries himself and turned them into a liquid – leading to Ethiopia being considered the birthplace of coffee.  Centuries later, the importation of coffee to Europe brought with it the formation of coffeehouses which, whilst inviting members of all class boundaries, traditionally served as social hubs where the artistic and intellectual could meet to exchange ideas.  Today coffee shops continue to maintain this flamboyancy through preserving the decorative interiors and slow-paced service that once attracted the writers, artists, and socialites of previous eras and with such soothing atmospheres and energising drink selections it is unsurprising that they now serve as the venue of choice for both business and leisure.
As the drink of choice among many, coffee comes in different forms – from the espresso shot of Italy to the café au lait of France – and many countries specialise in crafting the perfect coffee.  Considered the ‘coffee capital of the world’, Brazil is the largest producer of the bean and produces approximately 40% of the world’s coffee, whilst Columbia is famed for their aromatic but strong coffee.  The priciest and most unusual blend however, is Indonesia’s Civet Coffee which involves the civet cat consuming coffee beans and passing them through their digestive system before their dung is harvested.  Costing over $160 per pound, this coffee holds the greatest recommendation rate.  If this doesn’t appeal to your taste buds, Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee is regularly lauded as one of the world’s best, with a full body and a rich hint of herbs, it is a high-quality blend that is sure to satisfy all coffee enthusiasts.

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