A History of Coffee

A History of Coffee

A History of Coffee is the story of how a tiny psychoactive seed changed the world and shapes our lives today. Across six episodes, documentary maker James Harper and professional historian Jonathan Morris narrate how humans race coffee across oceans to keep up with demand for this addictive drink. Coffee creates enormous fortunes for some, and misery for others. Sometimes the environment benefits, but more often it is plundered. If we want to make coffee a more equitable industry that’s also kinder to the environment, a place to start is understanding the stories and systems that put the coffee into your cup this morning. Press the Subscribe button so you don’t miss future episodes! Follow Jonathan Morris @coffeehistoryjm and James Harper @filterstoriespodcast. Read full transcripts at www.historyofcoffee.org.

Episodes

May 31, 2022 45 min
We have an exciting announcement....AND, a story about Sri Lanka and coffee history we think you're really going to like.

Sri Lankan coffee has delicious notes of chocolate and caramel. But it’s basically impossible to find, and we’re going to bet you’ve never drank it.

But that's really odd, because Sri Lanka has the perfect climate to grow coffee, and was once one of the biggest coffee growing countries in the world.

But ...
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Coffee has a fascinating history stretching back hundreds of years. But tea takes it to the next level, stretching back thousands.

And it too was colonised by Europeans with huge repercussions that we are still feeling today.

We hope you enjoy episode 11 from the excellent The Tea History podcast: Europeans Discover Tea, produced by Laszlo Montgomery.

Listen to the rest of The Tea History Podcast: https://bit.ly/3BnDjgr

Explore Laszl...
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June 22, 2021 48 min
Each sip of coffee we drink is steeped in dark colonial past.

The reason we can enjoy it every morning is because it's relatively cheap, and many people suffered under European colonisers to create systems that produced this cheap coffee.

But unfortunately, that's just the beginning. Colonialism has stripped enslaved and indigenous people of their language, pushed their descendants into work that a modern European would nev...
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We are hard at work on the bonus episode about decolonising coffee history.

But...in the meantime, here's an episode from a sister podcast we think you'll enjoy.

You can listen to more episodes from Adventures in Coffee here: https://bit.ly/300V4jS
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May 13, 2021 47 min
Do you grind your beans fresh before brewing your coffee? If so, you are helping overturn a race-to–the-bottom with deep roots in colonial extraction that today is leaving millions of coffee farmers impoverished.

Or, at least, that’s what many specialty coffee companies would like you to believe. The truth is a lot less rosy.

In this final episode of A History of Coffee, Jonathan and James explore where the specialty coffee movement...
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April 23, 2021 37 min
When was the last time you bought a coffee that was Fairtrade certified?

Certifications make it easy for consumers to put their ethics into practice. But, hidden beneath the glossy sticker is a maze of complications and paradoxical outcomes.

In this fifth episode of A History of Coffee, Jonathan and James explore where coffee certifications came from, how they tried to stop coffee’s devastating race to the bottom and assess whether ...
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March 11, 2021 36 min
How do you drink your instant coffee? If you’re like most of the world, you fill your mug with milk and sugar to sweeten the taste.

By adding milk and sugar to your instant, you helped bring new growers - and consumers - into coffee, but arguably contributed to a crisis that left hundreds of thousands of people malnourished.

In this fourth episode of A History of Coffee, Jonathan and James explore how the popularity of instant cof...
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March 2, 2021 40 min
A hundred years ago one Brazilian man owned so many coffee trees he could fill every inch of a European country with them.

But why does Brazil grow so much? And who is drinking these lakes of caffeine?

In this third episode of A History of Coffee, Jonathan and James explore how industrialisation dramatically and permanently strips away Brazil’s forests, and why coffee becomes a part of the American dream.

A History of Coffee is a col...
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Why do we get upset when we’re charged €36 for an ordinary cappuccino?

The answer flies us to the Caribbean where white Europeans make black Africans suffer.

In this second episode of A History of Coffee, we uncover how colonialism squeezes the price of coffee, and how that changes European culture forever.

A History of Coffee is a collaboration between James Harper of the Filter Stories - Coffee Documentaries podcast and Jonathan M...
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Here’s a surprising fact: coffee was only invented around the time Michelangelo was chiselling his statue of David.

Why did it take so long for humans to invent the cup of coffee?

In this first episode of A History of Coffee, Jonathan and James unpack how humans figured out that delicious flavours were contained in the roasted seeds of a coffee tree’s cherries.

The answer has nothing to do with dancing goats...but, in some ways, it h...
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February 15, 2021 4 min
A History of Coffee is the story of how a tiny psychoactive seed changed the world and shapes our lives today.

Across six episodes, documentary maker James Harper and professional historian Jonathan Morris narrate how humans race coffee across oceans to keep up with demand for this addictive drink.

Coffee creates enormous fortunes for some, and misery for others. Sometimes the environment benefits, but more often it is plundered.

I...
Mark as Played

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