History of Coffee
Coffee is the world’s most popular beverage after water, with over 400 billion cups consumed annually. The coffee bean comes from an evergreen tree grown in a narrow subtropical belt around the world.
The three major growing regions are: Latin America and the Caribbean Islands, Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, and Indonesia.
In the 1700′s, coffee found its way to the Americas by means of a French infantry captain who nurtured one small plant on its long journey across the Atlantic. This one plant, transplanted to the Caribbean Island of Martinique, became the predecessor of over 19 million trees on the island within 50 years.
It was from this humble beginning that the coffee plant found its way to the rest of the tropical regions of South and Central America.
Espresso, a recent innovation in the way to prepare coffee, obtained its origin in 1822, with the innovation of the first crude espresso machine in France. The Italians perfected this wonderful machine and were the first to manufacture it.
The Coffee Industry Today
Today, coffee is a giant global industry employing more than 20 million people. This commodity ranks second only to petroleum in terms of dollars traded worldwide. With over 400 billion cups consumed every year, coffee is the world’s most popular beverage. In Brazil alone, over 5 million people are employed in the cultivation and harvesting of over 3 billion coffee plants.
Sales of premium specialty coffees in the United States have reached the multi-billion dollar level, and are increasing significantly on an annual basis.
For most consumers, how the product is processed is more important than name-brand recognition. At the Seattle Drip, we have our coffee exclusively roasted for us to ensure the finest quality blend and flavor.
Our roaster maintains consistency in replicating a certain degree of roast in our coffee and performs quality control assessments regularly to ensure the degree of roast development. Our coffee blends are unique to the Seattle Drip and have been applauded by many for their distinctive, smooth flavor.
The gourmet coffee business is a seven billion dollar a year industry. Industry leaders include Starbucks, Seattle’s Best Coffee and others who offer products primarily through in-line and freestanding stores.
While there are companies with a longer history in the café coffee business, there is no clear national leader in the drive-thru segment of the market.