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A History of Coffee

Author: James Harper

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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.
16 Episodes
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America is coffee-obsessed. From Central Perk’s red couch being the centre of major plot twists in Friends to the fact the average American drank more than two cups a day.And the conventional explanation is pretty straightforward: an English colonist introduces coffee to Jamestown in 1607. 150 years later Americans rebel against the British by throwing tea chests into Boston harbour and drinking coffee becomes their patriotic duty. Oh, and of course who won the civil war? The side that had the coffee. But, actually, the truth is much more surprising, and reveals a much more counter-intuitive story of America. In this final episode of Series Two of A History of Coffee, we offer you a story of America through the lens of a black drink, another black drink, a third black drink and perhaps even a fourth. A History of Coffee is a collaboration between documentary maker James Harper of the Filter Stories coffee podcast and Jonathan Morris, Professor of History and author of ‘Coffee: A Global History’. Don't miss future episodes by pressing the 'Subscribe' or 'Follow' button in your podcast player.-----------Please spread the word about A History of Coffee!Follow us on Instagram - Jonathan (@coffeehistoryjm) and James (@filterstoriespodcast) - and tag us in an Instagram story. Write a review on Apple Podcasts (http://apple.co/3jY42aJ)Leave a 5 star rating on Spotify (https://spoti.fi/3K2h4RQ)This free educational content for the coffee community was made possible by Rancilio, manufacturers of professional Italian espresso machines for your home and coffee bar for almost 100 years (https://bit.ly/3U3oLMz)Read Jonathan’s book, ‘Coffee: A Global History’ (https://amzn.to/3dihAfU)Listen to other coffee documentaries on James’ Filter Stories podcast (https://bit.ly/3ajoT5e)Download all episodes of this second series right now by subscribing to the ‘A History of Coffee’ podcast channel (http://bit.ly/2NArChO)Learn how Brazil massively expanded output in episode three of the first series of A History of Coffee: Coffee Catches Fire (https://bit.ly/2NArChO)Brew up some Yaupon Holly! (https://bit.ly/40R6IuY)Discover Deb Hunter's All Things Tudor podcast (https://bit.ly/3L5OZet)
One morning back in the ‘80s, Howard Schultz walks out of his Milan hotel, stumbles into an espresso bar, and fundamentally changes coffee history. He discovered (and then popularises) the iconic, timeless Italian coffee experience: Rich thick coffee, an affordable price and great theatre. But this Italian ritual is surprisingly young, so young that Howard Schultz was in school while some of it was being developed!In this third episode of Series Two of A History of Coffee, we show you why for most of Italy’s history, coffee was thin, expensive, dull to watch…and that’s if you were lucky enough to even be drinking the real stuff at all!A History of Coffee is a collaboration between documentary maker James Harper of the Filter Stories coffee podcast and Jonathan Morris, Professor of History and author of ‘Coffee: A Global History’. -----------Don't miss future episodes by pressing the 'Subscribe' or 'Follow' button in your podcast playerPlease spread the word about A History of Coffee!Follow us on Instagram - Jonathan (@coffeehistoryjm) and James (@filterstoriespodcast) - and tag us in an Instagram story. Write a review on Apple Podcasts (http://apple.co/3jY42aJ)Leave a 5 star rating on Spotify (https://spoti.fi/3K2h4RQ)This free educational content for the coffee community was made possible by Rancilio, manufacturers of professional Italian espresso machines for your home and coffee bar for almost 100 years (https://bit.ly/3U3oLMz)Read Jonathan’s book, ‘Coffee: A Global History’ (https://amzn.to/3dihAfU)Listen to other coffee documentaries on James’ Filter Stories podcast (https://bit.ly/3ajoT5e)Download all episodes of this second series right now by subscribing to the ‘A History of Coffee’ podcast channel (http://bit.ly/2NArChO)Go deeper into the story of espresso machines: James' science podcast about Espresso Machine Technology Neapolitan coffee maker (https://bit.ly/3zZCivl)Espresso at 1906 World’s Fair in Milan (https://bit.ly/3MOX7kQ)Rancilio's Museum, Officina Rancilio 1926 (https://bit.ly/3Q7vqTI)"La Cornuta" espresso machine (https://bit.ly/41uBryd)Rancilio's Berlin Showroom, the BER Rancilio Station (https://bit.ly/3mD0lNA)
Haiti was once the biggest, most profitable coffee growing region in the world. But today Haiti is one of the world’s poorest nations where you can’t get a bag of Haitian beans delivered to Berlin in a week for love nor money. In this second episode of Series Two of A History of Coffee, we show you how colonialism and racism dragged Haiti into poverty, and the role of coffee at the centre of it.Be warned: this episode contains graphic descriptions of violence. A History of Coffee is a collaboration between documentary maker James Harper of the Filter Stories coffee podcast and Jonathan Morris, Professor of History and author of ‘Coffee: A Global History’. -----------Don't miss future episodes by pressing the 'Subscribe' or 'Follow' button in your podcast playerPlease spread the word about A History of Coffee!Follow us on Instagram - Jonathan (@coffeehistoryjm) and James (@filterstoriespodcast) - and tag us in an Instagram story. Write a review on Apple Podcasts (http://apple.co/3jY42aJ)Leave a 5 star rating on Spotify (https://spoti.fi/3K2h4RQ)This free educational content for the coffee community was made possible by Rancilio, manufacturers of professional Italian espresso machines for your home and coffee bar for almost 100 years (https://bit.ly/3U3oLMz)Read Jonathan’s book, ‘Coffee: A Global History’ (https://amzn.to/3dihAfU)Listen to other coffee documentaries on James’ Filter Stories podcast (https://bit.ly/3ajoT5e)Download all episodes of this second series right now by subscribing to the ‘A History of Coffee’ podcast channel (http://bit.ly/2NArChO)
A coffee shop is a lot more than just a place to drink coffee. The seats and sofas encourage you to invite a friend, and chat.And chatting is powerful: ideas that emerge from these caffeine-fuelled conversations give birth to modern finance and even the founding of great artistic and scientific institutions.Meanwhile, other ideas threaten those in power, and have led to many attempts to ban coffeeshops (and even coffee itself!) these last 500 years.In the first episode of Series Two of A History of Coffee, we show you how the coffee shop changed the world, and we ask whether it still has what it takes to upend society.A History of Coffee is a collaboration between documentary maker James Harper of the Filter Stories coffee podcast and Jonathan Morris, Professor of History and author of ‘Coffee: A Global History’. -----------Don't miss future episodes by pressing the 'Subscribe' or 'Follow' button in your podcast playerPlease spread the word about A History of Coffee!Follow us on Instagram - Jonathan (@coffeehistoryjm) and James (@filterstoriespodcast) - and tag us in an Instagram story. Write a review on Apple Podcasts (http://apple.co/3jY42aJ)Leave a 5 star rating on Spotify (https://spoti.fi/3K2h4RQ)This free educational content for the coffee community was made possible by Rancilio, manufacturers of professional Italian espresso machines for your home and coffee bar for almost 100 years (https://bit.ly/3U3oLMz)Read Jonathan’s book, ‘Coffee: A Global History’ (https://amzn.to/3dihAfU)Listen to other coffee documentaries on James’ Filter Stories podcast (https://bit.ly/3ajoT5e)Download all episodes of this second series right now by subscribing to the ‘A History of Coffee’ podcast channel (http://bit.ly/2NArChO)
We're back with more stories about the tiny psychoactive seed that changed the world and continues to shape our lives today.In Series Two, we reveal how the invention of the coffee shop revolutionised societies, why colonialism, racism and coffee have kept once prosperous Haiti poor today, how Italy's revered espresso culture was created, and we debunk many myths around America's supposed love affair with coffee.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.A History of Coffee is a collaboration between documentary maker James Harper of the Filter Stories coffee podcast and Jonathan Morris, Professor of History and author of ‘Coffee: A Global History’. Follow us on Instagram! Jonathan Morris @coffeehistoryjm and James Harper @filterstoriespodcast.This free educational content was made possible with the support of Rancilio, manufacturers of professional Italian espresso machines for almost 100 years. Join us live at the London Coffee Festival 2023! We have three time slots for you to choose from: Saturday, 22 April, 11:00-11:30 and 14:30-15:00, and Sunday, 23 April,14:30-15:00.
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 Sri Lanka was the victim of an ecological ticking time bomb. And this bomb is still ticking, and is going to explode again. In this episode of Adventures in Coffee, producer James Harper takes co-hosts Scott and Jools on an adventure back in time, across Ethiopia, Yemen, Sri Lanka to trace the origins of this ticking bomb, and what it’s going to take to defuse it. —Subscribe to Adventures in Coffee here: https://bit.ly/300V4jSListen to Jonathan's guest appearance on negative coffee advertising here: https://bit.ly/3uOXYc0Read Stuart McCook’s excellent book, Coffee Is Not Forever: https://bit.ly/3320robListen to James’ stories about El Salvador on his Filter Stories channel: https://spoti.fi/3Lcnuhg Help other people find the show by leaving a rating on Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3JYduHY Help others find the show by creating a screengrab of this episode on your podcast player and sharing it on your Instagram stories. Tag us and we’ll reshare it!Scott Bentley / Caffeine Magazine: https://bit.ly/3oijQ91Jools Walker / Lady Velo: http://bit.ly/39VRGewJames Harper / Filter Stories: https://bit.ly/2Mlkk0ORead Jonathan’s book, ‘Coffee: A Global History’ here: https://amzn.to/3dihAfUA massive thanks to Lawrence Goldberg of Hansa Coffee, Ajantha Palihawadana, Professor Stuart McCook and Harm van Oudenhoven.
BONUS: A History of Tea

BONUS: A History of Tea

2022-02-1528:001

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/3BnDjgrExplore Laszlo's The Chinese Sayings Podcast: https://bit.ly/3BiITATDiscover The China History Podcast: https://bit.ly/3GTekmdSign up for the 2022 Barista League's High Density (free!) conference here: https://bit.ly/3BjAI78Visit Jonathan’s Instagram (https://bit.ly/37eMS3F) and Twitter (https://bit.ly/3jNr9ou)& James’ Filter Stories Instagram (https://bit.ly/2Mlkk0O) and Twitter (https://bit.ly/3baTsJk)Help other people find the show by leaving a review on...Apple Podcasts: http://apple.co/3jY42aJCastbox: http://bit.ly/38sXdcHRead Jonathan’s book, ‘Coffee: A Global History’ here: https://amzn.to/3dihAfUListen to other coffee documentaries on James’ Filter Stories podcast: https://bit.ly/3ajoT5e
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 never do, and created racial ideologies that persist and harm people of colour to this day. In this bonus episode of A History of Coffee, documentary maker James Harper moderates a conversation between Professor Peter D'Sena, a leading historian from the decolonising academic movement, and Professor Jonathan Morris, author of Coffee: A Global History. They explore how colonialism shaped coffee, and what a cup of coffee that seeks to address the damage of colonialism would look like. Help other people find the show by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts: http://apple.co/3jY42aJHow would you decolonise coffee? Start a conversation with us on social media. Jonathan Morris' Instagram (https://bit.ly/37eMS3F) and Twitter (https://bit.ly/3jNr9ou) Peter D'Sena Instagram (https://bit.ly/34WvPl5) and Twitter (https://bit.ly/3ggSlKL)James Harper’s Filter Stories Instagram (https://bit.ly/2Mlkk0O) and Twitter (https://bit.ly/3baTsJk)If you an educator and are interested in decolonising your curriculum, Peter wrote a guide here: https://bit.ly/3cvoH3lRead Jonathan’s book, ‘Coffee: A Global History’ here: https://amzn.to/3dihAfUListen to other coffee documentaries on James’ Filter Stories podcast: https://bit.ly/3ajoT5e
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
6) The Future of Coffee?

6) The Future of Coffee?

2021-05-1347:062

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 came from, whether it will succeed in arresting coffee’s race-to-the-bottom, and look into the future to understand what might be the future of coffee. Visit Jonathan’s Instagram (https://bit.ly/37eMS3F) and Twitter (https://bit.ly/3jNr9ou) & James’ Filter Stories Instagram (https://bit.ly/2Mlkk0O) and Twitter (https://bit.ly/3baTsJk)Help other people find the show by leaving a review on...Apple Podcasts: http://apple.co/3jY42aJCastbox: http://bit.ly/38sXdcHRead Jonathan’s book, ‘Coffee: A Global History’ here: https://amzn.to/3dihAfUListen to other coffee documentaries on James’ Filter Stories podcast: https://bit.ly/3ajoT5e Music featured in this episode:La Traviata, Brindisi (Verdi) by MIT Symphony Orchestra: https://bit.ly/3eGUsIfInfant Holy, Infant Lowly by Ann Alee: https://bit.ly/2SKlaY6
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 they succeeded.A History of Coffee is a collaboration between James Harper of the Filter Stories - Coffee Documentaries podcast and Jonathan Morris, Professor of History and author of ‘Coffee: A Global History’.Visit Jonathan’s Instagram (https://bit.ly/37eMS3F) and Twitter (https://bit.ly/3jNr9ou) & James’ Filter Stories Instagram (https://bit.ly/2Mlkk0O) and Twitter (https://bit.ly/3baTsJk)Help other people find the show by leaving a review on...Apple Podcasts: http://apple.co/3jY42aJCastbox: http://bit.ly/38sXdcHRead Jonathan’s book, ‘Coffee: A Global History’ here: https://amzn.to/3dihAfUListen to other coffee documentaries on James’ Filter Stories podcast: https://bit.ly/3ajoT5e
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 coffee dramatically alters the balance of power amongst coffee growing countries. Coffee as a global commodity takes on a life of its own, sweeping millions of farmers into a race to the bottom.Press the Follow button so you don't miss future episodes!A History of Coffee is a collaboration between James Harper of the Filter Stories - Coffee Documentaries podcast and Jonathan Morris, Professor of History and author of ‘Coffee: A Global History’.Visit Jonathan’s Instagram (https://bit.ly/37eMS3F) and Twitter (https://bit.ly/3jNr9ou) & James’ Filter Stories Instagram (https://bit.ly/2Mlkk0O) and Twitter (https://bit.ly/3baTsJk)Help other people find the show by leaving a review on...Apple Podcasts: http://apple.co/3jY42aJCastbox: http://bit.ly/38sXdcHRead Jonathan’s book, ‘Coffee: A Global History’ here: https://amzn.to/3dihAfUListen to other coffee documentaries on James’ Filter Stories podcast: https://bit.ly/3ajoT5eCoffee and brewing equipment featured in this episode1930 and 2020 “World Blend” roasted by Smiths Coffee (UK): http://bit.ly/3rtR2g1Comandante hand grinder: http://bit.ly/3qmTSCNSage electric grinder: http://bit.ly/2Zf3NyC
3) Coffee Catches Fire

3) Coffee Catches Fire

2021-03-0240:06

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 collaboration between James Harper of the Filter Stories - Coffee Documentaries podcast and Jonathan Morris, Professor of History and author of ‘Coffee: A Global History’.Stay tuned for the upcoming Instagram live session where we unpack how the British produced coffee in Sri Lanka, and why so many Indians die. Visit Jonathan’s Instagram (https://bit.ly/37eMS3F) and Twitter (https://bit.ly/3jNr9ou) & James’ Filter Stories Instagram (https://bit.ly/2Mlkk0O) and Twitter (https://bit.ly/3baTsJk)Help other people find the show by leaving a review on...Apple Podcasts: http://apple.co/3jY42aJCastbox: http://bit.ly/38sXdcHRead Jonathan’s book, ‘Coffee: A Global History’ here: https://amzn.to/3dihAfUListen to other coffee documentaries on James’ Filter Stories podcast: https://bit.ly/3ajoT5eCoffee and brewing equipment featured in this episode:Marcelo Carvalho Ferraz, Boa Vista, Dom Viçoso. Roasted by Supremo (Germany): http://bit.ly/37UW79u Comandante hand grinder: http://bit.ly/3qmTSCNSage electric grinder: http://bit.ly/2Zf3NyC
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 Morris, Professor of History and author of ‘Coffee: A Global History’.Stay tuned for the upcoming Instagram live session where we unpack how the British produced coffee in Sri Lanka, and why so many Indians die. Visit Jonathan’s Instagram (https://bit.ly/37eMS3F) and Twitter (https://bit.ly/3jNr9ou) & James’ Filter Stories Instagram (https://bit.ly/2Mlkk0O) and Twitter (https://bit.ly/3baTsJk)Help other people find the show by leaving a review on...Apple Podcasts: http://apple.co/3jY42aJCastbox: http://bit.ly/38sXdcHRead Jonathan’s book, ‘Coffee: A Global History’ here: https://amzn.to/3dihAfUListen to other coffee documentaries on James’ Filter Stories podcast: https://bit.ly/3ajoT5e
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 has everything to do with a shepherd in the forests of Ethiopia. Press Subscribe so you don't miss future episodes!Watch James and Jonathan bust coffee myths at the Barista League's High Density conference, for free: http://bit.ly/3pxtlSaA History of Coffee is a collaboration between James Harper of the Filter Stories - Coffee Documentaries podcast and Jonathan Morris, Professor of History and author of ‘Coffee: A Global History’.Visit Jonathan’s Instagram (https://bit.ly/37eMS3F) and Twitter (https://bit.ly/3jNr9ou) to see Ethiopian coffee ceremonies and historical interpretations of Kaldi. Explore James’ Filter Stories Instagram (https://bit.ly/2Mlkk0O) and Twitter (https://bit.ly/3baTsJk) to marvel at ancient coffee growing techniques in the mountains of Yemen. Help other people find the show by leaving a review on...Apple Podcasts: http://apple.co/3jY42aJCastbox: http://bit.ly/38sXdcHRead Jonathan’s book, ‘Coffee: A Global History’ here: https://amzn.to/3dihAfUListen to other coffee documentaries on James’ Filter Stories podcast: https://bit.ly/3ajoT5e Coffee and brewing equipment featured in this episode:Ethiopia - Dimtu Tera Farm, Guji, Odo Shakiso. Roasted by 19 Grams (Berlin): https://bit.ly/3jQxRKvYemen - Hasan Al-Salool, Jewain village, West Haraz. Roasted by Darkwoods (UK): http://bit.ly/3db7yxfComandante hand grinder: http://bit.ly/3qmTSCNSage electric grinder: http://bit.ly/2Zf3NyC
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!Read Jonathan’s book, ‘Coffee: A Global History’ here: https://amzn.to/3dihAfUListen to other coffee documentaries on James’ Filter Stories podcast: https://bit.ly/3ajoT5e
Comments (1)

John EY

great great great way of (re) discovering the coffee history since its very departure from the African Continent to today's contemporary coffee shops, and all that lies in-between. Bravo for making it happen

Mar 21st
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