How Coffee changed the world

Native Rituals Explores the History of Coffee

Brewing a hot beverage is one of those age-old rituals that unites us as people the world over.  Coffee has historically been referred to as "The Devils Cup" in Europe through the eighteenth century and known as the brew that brought about the age of enlightenment that birthed the industrial revolution.

Over the last nine years, I have developed a deep understanding and love of Coffee. Some would call me a purist in how I brew and drink this energy lifting much discussed brew. Join me as I explore the history of Coffee and the role it plays and has played in our society. 

My love affair with Coffee began when my wife took me home to her island Misima Island in Milne Bay Papua New Guinea (PNG) in 2009.  This trip formed the backbone of everything we have done over the last ten years including starting Native Rituals skincare and fragrances.

Visiting this enchanted tropical island 200 miles off the mainland of PNG out towards Vanuatu drew me into the world of coffee in a way that I could never have imagined. 

It all started with a conversation around the fire (pictured above) with my wife's Uncle talking about the Coffee plantations growing on the island.

This simple and passing comment changed my life forever. 

That little green bean has not just changed my life but billions of lives over thousands of years as it made its way around the equator from Ethiopia where many say is the home of Coffee on trade ships and horseback. Coffee employs 25 million people worldwide and is the second most traded commodity in international markets.

Coffee and I have had a rocky relationship, It is a fantastic pick me up but leaves me jittery and unable to sleep till the early hours of the morning, whereas my wife cannot function until she has her Latte firmly in her hand.

For years before my first visit to Papua New Guinea, my good mate Tim who own's Cigana cafes, and Kilo NZ would perpetually be trying to get me to drink every variation of coffee you can think of.  I had resisted these moves until I learnt the economic change that could be bought for Misima Island by the exporting this small green Coffee bean. 

The purist in me will now only drink Coffee Black and cold or lukewarm where the full flavour profile comes through.

I have been blessed to learn from some of the Southern Hemispheres leading taste buds and minds the art of growing, brewing and tasting Coffee. Sitting at the tables of master Roasters and taste buds of the nations Stu Haagi from Bell Tea and Coffee and Rob and Anna from Coffee Lab has been a real privilege and honour. Learning from the best in the country is a blessing I am very grateful for.

When I reflect on how coffee was referred to in the eighteenth century of the Devils Cup,  I don't think it is too far wrong as this little bean when roasted and brewed becomes an all-consuming brew with the most complex of flavours and aromas that have shaped and changed the world like nothing else. 

Over the next few months, I will be exploring this beautiful bean, its flavours, rituals and how Coffee has genuinely changed the modern world as it has spread to every corner of the world and created industries and transformed isolated and remote communities economies and daily lives. 

 We will sit around many fires and hear stories untold, eat, laugh and learn why the world loves this bean so much and what else grows alongside on the lush tropical equatorial belt of the world. 

We would love to hear your stories of Coffee, and other exotic foods and plants you think have changed the world. Feel free to share and if you are rarely feeling brave join me on our Native Rituals Podcast. 



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