'coffee history' on Serious Eats

Coffee Legends: Alice Foote MacDougall

The long history of coffee features woefully few prominent women, but those who do stand out do so in spades. One of the toughest cookies in the caffeinated timeline remains an inspiration to female business owners today: Alice Foote MacDougall, a ground-up entrepreneur and coffeehouse owner who epitomized success in hard-scrabble early 20th century New York. More

Coffee History: The Coffee Break

There weren't always interns balancing precarious armloads of lattes for everyone in Accounting, and not every office or factory break room had a bottomless supply of bad-but-free sludge boiling away on a hot plate all day, but nowadays nobody would know what to do without the coffee break. Today, we'll investigate the history of this workaday ritual. More

Coffee History: The Percolator

What would family reunions and church-basement get-togethers be without the humble coffee percolator? One of the earliest "modern" coffee-brewing tools, these were originally intended for small-scale home use and could be heated on a stove; though electric versions are more common in commercial environments today, millions of folks still rely on percolator technology to brew their morning cup. Today I'll offer a little about the history of this type of coffee maker, its inventors, and innovations. More

5 Great Books About Coffee

Nothing makes a better partner for a great cup of coffee than a good book to scan while sipping. Whether you're looking to learn more about the history of that beautiful elixir, or to simply be transported to its tropical habitat (for better or worse), here are five titles that belong on any bean-lover's bookshelf. More

Around the Caffeinated World: Latin America

The mental picture we have of Juan Valdez both raises and answers some interesting questions about coffee in the southwestern hemisphere. We know how coffee first made its way there (initially thanks to the Dutch, French, and English), but what happened once it arrived? More

Around the Caffeinated World: The First Colonies

Thank heavens the Earth ain't flat, because the New World is an incredibly significant coffee-producing region—thanks in large part to the plants being shuffled around by European colonial powers gaining ground hither, thither, and yon. We're about to follow the Dutch and, subsequently, the French around the world on this caffeinated history trip. More

Around the Caffeinated World: The Ottoman Empire

Both the cultivation and the culture around a coffee crop can differ wildly from place to place, origin to origin, as traditions are handed down through generations. Our third stop along the timeline of coffee's trip around the world is the vast Ottoman Empire, which is responsible for brewed coffee's first trips west through Europe. More

Around the Caffeinated World: Yemen

This is the second column in a series exploring the history and lore of various coffee origins. Today, we'll follow our favorite beans as they venture out of the motherland for the first time, making a pit stop in Yemen. More

Around the Caffeinated World: Ethiopia

How did coffee get planted around the world, and how much does terroir play into cup flavor? We'll spend the next few columns exploring the history and lore of various coffee growing regions, starting with the place where it all began: Ethiopia. More

Coffee History: Luigi Bezzera, Inventor of the Espresso Machine

During the late 19th and early 20th century, Italy's Industrial Revolution was in full force, with big, cranking industries popping up faster than you can say "a-pizza pie." Before long, factory bosses noticed how much more productive their drones after a coffee break. But there was one big downside: The coffee break took too darned long. More

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