Coffee has become a part of Cornish life, whether you enjoy a quick espresso or a long latte. But did you know that coffee has quite the intriguing history? Here are five things you might not have known about our favourite bean.

1. Miracle bean

In the 17th century, coffee was called an “exotic berry” and was promised to benefit your mind, body and soul. It was sold as a kind of tonic, and was supposed to “quicken the spirits”. Rather inaccurate advertisements at the time promised that no matter how hot you took your coffee, it would never damage the skin of your mouth. We’re definitely more careful with our coffee these days!

2. Smear campaign

In contrast, in the early 1900s a massive smear campaign was run to discredit coffee. This was because the company Postum was promoting a grain-based coffee substitute, and wanted real coffee out of the way. Postum gave up this venture eventually, becoming the now-familiar Maxwell House. If you can’t beat them, join them.

3. The social drink

Coffee advertising has often revolved around relationships and friendships. In the 1950s, Chase & Sandborn coffee had a rather risqué advert of a husband “punishing” his wife for not buying good coffee. The 1980s saw a whole series of coffee adverts following the blossoming relationship of two neighbours.

4. A true classic

Many classical composers have enjoyed the flavours and benefits of coffee. Allegedly, Beethoven insisted on having his coffee made with 60 coffee beans. Johann Sebastian Bach loved coffee so much, he wrote a tongue-in-cheek piece of music in its honour: The Coffee Cantata.

5. International Coffee Day

International Coffee Day happens every October and is a chance to celebrate this remarkable drink, its heritage, and look at what the future holds for coffee. In 2018, the focus was on women in the coffee industry, with a range of international events in countries such as Venezuela, Ecuador and Mexico. The headquarters of the event are much closer to home though. They’re based in London.

Do you have any coffee related questions? Feel free to get in touch with us to find out more.