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The Columbian Exchange
Updated: 9/28/2020
The Columbian Exchange
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Storyboard Text

  • Caffeinating The New World
  • I am a coffee bean...I originate from the highlands of Ethiopia where shepherds were the first to observe the influence of my caffeine. It make their goats appeared to "dance" and to have an increased level of energy after consuming wild coffee berries.
  • The legend says that a shepherd reported his findings to the abbot of the local monastery. He made a drink with the berries and discovered that it kept him alert for the long hours of evening prayer. The abbot had shared this discovery with the other monks at the monastery, and this began the popularity of the the energizing coffee bean.
  • In the mid-1600's, coffee was brought to New Amsterdam, an area later to be called New York by the British. This would lead to coffee becoming one of the primary exports for African countries like Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, and Ethiopia.
  • During the Revolutionary War the demand for coffee increased so much that dealers had to hoard their scarce supplies and raise prices dramatically. This was due to the reduced availability of tea from British merchants.
  • When coffee reached North America coffee houses rapidly began to appear. It was initially not as successful as it had been in Europe.
  • After the War of 1812, during which Britain temporarily cut off access to tea imports, the Americans' taste for coffee grew, and high demand during the American Civil War together with advances in brewing technology secured the position of coffee as an everyday commodity in the United States.
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