How coffee came to be used.
--It is somewhat singular to trace the manner in which arose the use of the common beverage of coffee, without which few persons in any half or wholly civilized country in the world now make breakfast.
At the time Columbus
it had never been known or used.
It only grew in Arabia
or Upper Ethiopia.
The discovery of its use as a beverage is ascribed to the superior of a monastery in Arabia
, who, desirous of preventing the monks from sleeping at their nocturnal service, made them drink the infusion of coffee, upon the reports of the shepherds, who observed that their flocks were more lively after browsing on the fruit of that plant.
Its reputation spread through the adjacent countries, and in about two hundred years it had reached Paris
A single plant brought there in 1814 became the parent stock of all the French
coffee plantations in the West Indies
introduced it into Java
and the East Indies
, and the French
all over South America
and the West Indies
The extent of the consumption now can hardly be realized.--The United States
alone annually consumed it at the cost, on its landing, of from fifteen to sixteen millions of dollars.