mainLEGENDSNGM ARTICLEMAP
ROASTSCOFFEE TALK


Temples mark the landscape
of Java, where the first
European-owned coffee farms
were founded by representatives
of Amsterdam (inset).


EUROPE CATCHES THE BUZZ
(1615 to 1700)

“The Turks (map) have a drink of black color....I will bring some with me...to the Italians” (map). Thus a merchant of Venice introduced Europe to coffee in 1615. But the end product didn’t amount to a hill of beans to many traders—they wanted the means of production. The race was on.

The Dutch (map) cleared the initial hurdle in 1616, spiriting a coffee plant into Europe (map) for the first time. Then in 1696 they founded the first European-owned coffee estate, on colonial Java, now part of Indonesia (map).

Business boomed and the Dutch sprinted ahead to adjacent islands. Confident beyond caution, Amsterdam began bestowing coffee trees on aristocrats around Europe...

[next]


© 1999 National Geographic Society. All rights reserved.