The mysteries of coffee are endless and abound in a rich culture that has touched generations from all walks of life. How a simple drink can effect our lives each day, in different ways across the world, continues to mystify even it’s founders. Part one of the three-part documentary Black Coffee characterizes coffee’s history—beginning with its origins in Ethiopia, journey to the Arab world, and its first domesticated production in Turkey. Following coffee’s earliest days, we see its refinement and spread throughout the cultures of Europe and final settlement in the Americas.
PBS goes all out to explain the hidden ideologies – as in, did you know that coffee was considered the drink of sinners, but Dukes and Sultans banned its outlaw after tasting it? – and cultural traditions of coffee, while also exposing the political and economic angles often overlooked in its history. The experts in the film give us a deeper understanding of the influence coffee has on us as the “most widely taken legal drug!” So sit back, grab a mug and learn…
You can also check out the other two segments of Black Coffee, which cover Nineteenth Century and modern productions of coffee here!