According to legend coffee was discovered by an Ethiopian goat herd called Kaldi. He noticed that goats who ate certain beans became very lively. Coffee was drunk in Yemen by the 15th century. By the 16th century coffee had spread to Persia (Iran) and Turkey. There were many coffee houses where people could drink and also socialize.
Coffee reached Europe in the late 16th century through trade. Coffee was introduced into Italy first. (Today coffee is still a very popular drink among the Italians). Coffee really became popular in Europe in the 17th century. In the 1600s coffee houses opened across Europe.
Meanwhile the first coffee house in America opened in 1689. Merchants Coffee House opened in 1737 and it became an important meeting place.
In America drinking coffee rather than tea became patriotic after the Boston Tea Party of 1773 (a protest against a British tax on tea).
Freeze dried coffee was invented in 1938. Meanwhile decaffeinated coffee was invented by Ludwig Roselius in 1903. Melitta Bentz invented the coffee filter in 1908. Achille Gaggia invented the modern espresso machine in 1946. The first pump driven espresso machine was made in 1960. Meanwhile in the early 20th century the coffee table became a popular item of furniture.
Today coffee is still one of the world’s most popular drinks. Brazil is still the world’s largest producer of coffee.