Our first blog is taking you back to the very beginning – to how coffee, the world’s favourite beverage, has helped to create a cultural phenomenon.
The history of coffee is pretty wishy-washy, depending on who you ask. Some people believe coffee was founded in Ethiopia in the 6th Century. A goat herder was said to have noticed his flock behaving differently, after eating coffee cherries. Monks at a local monastery heard about the effect of coffee and began using it to stay awake for long nights of prayer. These monks were understood to be the first to roast, grind and consume coffee in a liquid form. This took the fancy of many, once they heard about this magical new drink!
Things really took off during the 15th century in Arabia, which is where the first recorded coffee shop was said to be located. In this time, coffee shops were places where people met, discussed culture, consumed coffee and enjoyed music and games. Initially, these places were intended for high class men, but their popularity soon spread to the wider public. Coffee shops became social hubs which eventually spread through India, Europe and eventually, Australia.
When the first coffee shops emerged in Italy, they hosted only the most respected and sought after musicians, such as Giuseppe Verdi and Arturo Toscanini. Similarly, the first coffee houses in London were renowned as popular meeting places for artists, writers and socialites, as well as accommodated much political and commercial activity. In Paris, places such as the Les Deux Magots became popular for their association to artists and intellectuals, such as Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. As you can imagine, cafes became hip and affordable, places to be (and be seen).
In the 18th Century, a thrifty Italian businessman saw an opportunity to reduce staff wages by designing a levered machine to push water through compressed coffee grinds to make espresso coffee. Traditional espresso coffee machines are not too dissimilar to the original invention. While they’ve advanced slightly, the basic concept remains the same. When espresso coffee was introduced to the market, customers were delighted as their coffees were made quicker, as well as stronger!
Today, there are a variety of coffee shops in Australia. These include ‘hole in the wall’ micro-shops to large sit-down cafes. Australian’s are also spoilt for choice in the way that they take their daily hit. Although, espressos remain a staple on the menu (as Italian coffee culture has made a significant impact on Australia’s coffee scene) flat whites, cappuccinos, lattes and long blacks are now more common coffee orders.
There are currently hundreds of specialty coffee shops in Perth which allow people to sit, relax, meet, socialise and enjoy a wonderful caffeinated beverage. Coffee shops are now part of Perth’s cultural fabric and are positively impacting the way we interact with one another.
At Antz, we aim to create a comfortable place where everyone is welcome to enjoy a great cup of coffee, every day. Although we’re just a coffee roasting company, with a few cafes, we like to think we’re continuing an incredible journey.