Coffee: A Dark History

Front Cover
Fourth Estate, 2004 - Coffee - 323 pages
This is the tale of the wildfire spread of the consumption of a drink which is embedded in our history and our daily cultural life. The coffee industry worldwide employs more people - 30 million - than any other. It is the lifeblood of many third world countries, either earning them invaluable foreign currency or enslaving them to the monster that is modern global capitalism, depending on how you look at it. From obscure beginnings in East Africa a millennia ago and its early days as an aid to religious devotion, coffee became an integral part of the rise of European mercantilism from the 17th-century onwards. As well as being a valued trading commodity, it was the preferred beverage of the merchants who did the trading. The rise of the coffee house and the City of London were inextricably, perhaps even mysteriously linked.

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User Review  - vguy - LibraryThing

Witty a.nd well-informed. almost a complete history of world history viewed from the bottom of a coffee cup.Leitmotiv is St Helena ( which has great coffee but it never caught on) and Napoleon who was ... Read full review

Coffee: a dark history

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Wild (The East India Company ) has been widely recognized for introducing specialty coffees to Great Britain. Here, he presents a 500-year history of the much-loved drink, drawing on science, politics ... Read full review


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