Whether sprinkled with sugar and cream, flavored with caramel or hazelnut, or just a plan black cup of Joe, coffee is one of the most popular beverages all over the world. It is so beloved, in fact, that many cultures claim responsibility for the first brew. But there’s more to it than just being smooth liquid gold — the culture of coffee is just as permeating as the drink itself.
In the 17th century, brought on by the East India Trading Company, the first known coffee shop was opened in the Netherlands sparking the beginning of European coffee culture. Though the first recorded instance of drinkable coffee was found in 15th century Yemen, early global trade quickly made coffee not only a powerful commodity, but a powerful political statement as well. Surrounding the events of America’s declaration of independence from Britain, coffee became something of a symbol of imperial rejection by replacing tea. Many Americans including president John Adams started drinking coffee instead of tea as an act of defiance following the historical events of the Boston Tea Party.
What does coffee culture look like to you? From the morning rush to a leisurely afternoon to a late night study session, the cup of coffee is as enduring as its culture is changeable. Take a look at this infographic for more on the past, present, and future of coffee culture.