When did humans first begin drinking coffee?

Question from Rosie Kay

The first known reference to drinking coffee was made in 900 CE in an Arabic medical textbook. However, it wasn’t until the 15th century that the coffee industry took off in the Arabian Peninsula.

Coffee houses became popular as places where people could drink, gossip and listen to music. These social hubs eventually spread throughout Europe, where coffee received mixed reviews.

In 17th-century Venice it was declared ‘the bitter invention of Satan’ until Pope Clement VIII gave the beverage his official approval.


Answered by Jodie Tyley for Brain Dump in How It Works issue 116.

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