By Melissa Nilan, Marketing and Communications
Coffee shops have long been a favourite meeting place of students, all the way back to the first coffeehouses of Europe in the 17th century.
Coffee originated in Ethiopia, where legend says a ninth-century goat herder named Kaldi discovered the energizing effects of the coffee bean after his goats ate them and spent the whole night frolicking. He took the coffee beans to a monk, who was not impressed (some accounts say he went so far as to call the beans the work of the devil) and promptly threw them in the fire. As the beans roasted, a tantalizing smell arose and other monks came to investigate. Unable to resist the delicious aroma, the monks ground the roasted beans and added them to hot water, creating the first cup of coffee.
The earliest confirmed records of coffee drinking are from Yemen monasteries in the 14th century, where monks would drink it to stay awake during nighttime prayer. From Yemen, coffee spread through the Arabian Peninsula and into Persia, Syria, Turkey and Egypt during the 1500s. In fact, coffee became so engrained in Constantinople society that a law was created that gave a woman the right to divorce her husband if he did not provide her an adequate supply of coffee.
In 1615, a merchant introduced coffee to the Venetians, and coffee popularity took off in Europe. By the mid-1700s, coffee was prevalent throughout Western Europe and Britain, and was gaining a foothold in America. With the demand for coffee growing (especially with coffee fiends like Voltaire and Balzac reportedly drinking 50+ cups a day), coffee plantations were established in the colonies, effectively spreading coffee drinking and coffee industry throughout the world.
So why are we telling you all this? Because Sept. 29 is National Coffee Day. If you’re jonesing for a cup of java, check out one of these coffee shops around campus:
Tim Hortons, in the cafeteria, 2nd floor
Campus Deli, 1st floor
The Hide Out Cafe, 716 Carnarvon St.
The Coffee Bar, 656 Columbia St.
Old Crow Coffee Co., 655 Front St.
Tre Galli Gelato Caffe, 810 Quayside Dr.
Tim Hortons, in the cafeteria, A/B building
Café kiosk, C/B building
Caffé Divano, 3003 Burlington Dr.