More On Coffee

29 08 2007

Speaking of instant coffee, a quick internet search reveals that it was invented by misguided chemist Satori Kato of Chicago in 1901. No word on why he felt the need to do this, since Tang and space travel were still some way off.

However, the really interesting news, from a New Yorker article on seed banks and crop diversity, is that most of the coffee produced in Latin America originated from a single coffee plant lifted from the island of Java (!) and transported to the Amsterdam Botanic Garden in 1706. Further, it has somehow been determined that Arabs were responsible for domesticating coffee plants from Ethiopia and introducing the crop to India. It was later introduced to Java, where the Dutch took a liking to it and there you go.

By the way, Java is an Indonesian island, and site of it’s capital city of Jakarta. With a population of about 124 million, it is one of the most densely populated places on earth. It was the heart of the colonial Dutch East Indies. Just so you know.

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